Holiday Wishlist Part 1: Stable homes

This holiday season, the Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) shares data that can help individuals and communities protect homes from foreclosure.

Data at a Glance:

Securing Homes

Saving Homes from Foreclosure. Often the most affordable home is the one a family already lives in. That’s why one of the OHCD’s strategies is to prevent homelessness by keeping people in their homes.

One element of that strategy is the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program.

The Program began in 2008 after the housing bubble burst and the Great Recession began. An increasing number of Philadelphians began to face foreclosure, which would have serious consequences for the homeowners and their neighborhoods.

Based on a recommendation from a working committee, the Court of Common Pleas issued an order requiring that homeowners facing foreclosure have an opportunity to meet with their lenders to negotiate an alternative to foreclosure. The homeowners are supported by City-funded housing counseling and, where appropriate, legal assistance. Homeowners are made aware of their options through door-to-door outreach and on a foreclosure prevention hotline (215-334-HOME).

From June 2008 through November 2015, more than 9,000 Philadelphia homes have been saved from foreclosure. You can see the number of homes saved by census tract by downloading the Homes Saved data.

Housing Counseling for Philadelphians. Buying a home is often a family’s most expensive and long-term investment. To help prepare prospective homeowners for the rights and responsibilities of homeownership, the City of Philadelphia supports 28 housing counseling agencies.

In addition to providing assistance to potential home-buyers, counselors offer aid to tenants and assistance with other finance related issues. Agencies conduct free group and individual counseling sessions on topics such as foreclosure prevention, credit repair and maintenance, money management, the mortgage application and purchase process, home maintenance and other issues.

The OHCD has offered a downloadable and mappable list of the housing counseling agencies it funds and their 28 counseling offices.

Engaging Philadelphia’s Communities. A neighborhood’s future is brightest when its residents are participating in discussions about how to meet its challenges and seize its opportunities.

The OHCD’s Neighborhood Advisory Committees (NACs) program offers community-based nonprofit organizations the opportunity to lead and engage neighborhood residents around core city objectives. Those objectives include promoting sustainability, creating employment opportunities, enhancing neighborhood safety, alerting residents to available programs and ensuring resident participation in City planning efforts.

NACs also provide door-to-door outreach as part of the City’s Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program, alerting residents facing foreclosure to the resources available to them.

The OHCD has released data outlining the coverage areas of the currently funded NACs.

Keep in Touch

Share your ideas on or plans to use this data with data@phila.gov or join us on the public open data google forum. To find other available datasets from the City of Philadelphia, visit OpenDataPhilly.

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