Lynnette Perez joins Women’s Community Revitalization Project Copy
The Women’s Community Revitalization Project has added a prominent Latina leader to its executive leadership team.
Lynnette Perez has joined the organization as its new Director of Finance. She arrives to the organization after spending the last 12 months as financial controller at St. Joseph’s Villa.
In her new role, Perez will be responsible for guiding the organization’s long-term financial health and growth, devising strategies to help earn profits and overseeing accounting operations, among other duties.
The Women’s Community Revitalization Project is a nonprofit organization committed to social and economic equity for low-income women and their families.
Five families buy affordable homes in Point Breeze Copy
After building affordable housing for 30 years, a program led by the Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP), made five families and individuals homeowners when they moved into town homes in the Point Breeze section of South Philadelphia.
The town homes, known as the Mamie Nichols Homes, are named for an activist and founder of the Point Breeze Federation. It is the first development from the Community Justice Land Trust, (CJLT), a non-profit sponsored by WCRP. The families moved in at the end of last year.
Utilizing low income housing tax credits, WCRP has built hundreds of affordable housing units. This is the city’s first project to utilize a land trust model for home ownership — a model other Philadelphia groups hope to duplicate.
“The CJLT is pioneering a new affordable housing model that allows long-term residents to stay in Point Breeze and preserve the fabric of their community,” said Nora Lichtash, WCRP executive director.
Philly community groups could get priority in sale of thousands of vacant city lots under new bill Copy
For decades, community gardeners have tended to abandoned land in neighborhoods redlined by the insurance industry, neglected by government and ignored by developers. Yet as values rise across the city and builders see opportunity in long-overlooked lots, gardeners find themselves fighting to hold onto the spaces they’ve cultivated.
Nora Lichtash, who directs the Women’s Community Revitalization Project and has worked in housing and community development for decades, sees Gauthier’s proposal as a big step toward permanent affordability in the city.
“It feels almost revolutionary,” she said.
Housing in Philadelphia: What to watch in 2022
The pandemic put a renewed spotlight on Philadelphia's housing issues. And with COVID-19 protections expiring late last year, pressure to address the city's affordable housing crisis and homelessness could fuel changes in 2022.
What they're saying: Nora Lichtash, executive director of Women's Community Revitalization Project, wants the city to prioritize giving some of its publicly owned property to nonprofits that focus on affordable and accessible housing instead of only giving it to market-rate developers.
"Our next focus is to focus on land. Land justice is a 2022 issue," Lichtash said.
The transformative potential of Community Land Trusts
Our country has been struggling with an affordable housing crisis for decades. Simply put, there is not enough housing, and what is available is too expensive for those with limited means. However, there’s an up-and-coming player in the affordable housing world that offers the potential to transform it: community land trusts (CLTs).
Another example is the Nicole Hines Townhomes in Philadelphia, a 32-unit community where the Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) has used federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and state and local funds to cover 93 percent of Hines’s $12.1 million development costs. Rents will be kept low through a fund made up of “developer fees” collected over the years by WCRP, augmented by a per-unit contribution by the local public housing authority. Again, all the units will house families earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
More than just a check
Social Venture Partners is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in local nonprofits that fight poverty. But it’s their “engaged philanthropy” that really sets them apart.
Over the next three years, the organization is investing $600,000 in funding, plus operational support, in three local nonprofits that target a different root cause of poverty. Center for Black Educators targets education inequities; Resilient Coders provides job training through their coding bootcamps; and the Women’s Community Revitalization Project works to create affordable housing. They hope to make multi-year grants of this size to different organizations every year.
Money Moves: More than $13M has been awarded to local nonprofits in the past few months Copy
The William Penn Foundation awarded more than $8M in grants to 90 nonprofits through its Family Recovery Fund.
In June, the William Penn Foundation announced that it was awarding 90 grants totaling more than $8 million to support nonprofit organizations focused on providing access to healthy food, support for families to stay in their homes, and enhanced K-12 learning opportunities.
Philadelphia business leaders invest $600K in nonprofits working to reduce poverty
A group of Philadelphia-area business leaders will invest $600,000 to support local minority-led nonprofits focused on reducing poverty.
The fundraising push was driven by the Philadelphia chapter of Social Venture Partners (SVP), an international network that brings together business leaders, philanthropists, foundations and corporate partners to deliver funding to nonprofits. The organization selected the Center for Black Educator Development, the Women’s Community Revitalization Project and Resilient Coders as the grantees for its first funding round.