PHA agrees to new 10-year Moving to Work Agreement
    Philadelphia- The federal program that has given the Philadelphia Housing Authority the flexibility to rebuild numerous neighborhoods in the city has been extended for another ten years. 
 
            Without the extension of the Moving to Work program, PHA could have lost tens of millions of dollars needed to continue its housing redevelopment program and to provide programs and services to low-income families.
 
            Final agreement on the deal was delayed for months by a dispute between PHA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over wheel-chair accessible housing.
 
            Although PHA manages substantially more accessible homes than the federal government requires, HUD contended that not all of those homes meet precise new standards.
 
            "We couldn't be happier with this outcome. The agreement means another ten years of funding flexibility that comes with the Moving to Work program," said PHA Executive Director Carl Greene. "The fact that we have been lauded by groups who serve disabled citizens speaks to our commitment to serving this population."
 
            PHA has agreed to drop its federal court case in which it claimed HUD retaliated against the housing authority when PHA refused to turn land over at nominal cost to a private developer favored by former HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. PHA has also agreed to a new reporting requirement so that it will certify that its accessible homes meet the new standard.
 
           Pennsylvania Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey held several conversations with the new HUD secretary, Steve Preston, to urge him to take a fresh look at the dispute. Those efforts proved successful.
 
            Under the MTW program, PHA is able to use some funds from the Housing Choice Voucher program for other purposes, such as building new affordable housing and providing training for low-income clients to help them up and out of subsidized housing. PHA has taken advantage of its participation in the program to rebuild distressed neighborhoods, and to transform the Housing Choice Voucher program into one that works for low-income families while balancing the needs of communities. 
 
    With the help of MTW, PHA has also been able to invest in technology and innovative programs, allowing the agency to reduce its workforce from 2,500 in 2000 to 1,130 today, while serving more families.
 
    "Failure to sign a new agreement would have meant an end to most of our construction activity and a move backward to the one-size-fits-all public housing of the past," Director Greene said.  "We are glad to put this disagreement behind us, and we appreciate the opportunity the new agreement gives us to advance a program that helps low-income residents become self-sufficient and promotes Philadelphia's urban revitalization."
PHA Executive Director, Carl Greene signs the new negotiated MTW agreement with HUD that extends PHA's participation in the program for another 10-years. He is flanked by Assistant Executive Directors Dianne Rosenthal and Carolyn Carter.