URDC completed another successful home repair for a senior in East Oak Lane. Ms. Jones is an 87-year-old homeowner who has lived in her home since 1957. She lives alone and needed a number of repairs to remain in her home safely, including a new back door, patching of basement walls, and a new bathtub, as her current tub was too high to use safely. URDC provided Ms. Jones with a grant to finish her repairs, since she could not afford them based on her Social Security income.
Ms. Jones’ repairs were part of URDC’s highly successful Owner Occupied Program, which helps finance costly home repairs for senior and low-income homeowners in northwest Philadelphia. The program has assisted over 275 families and allowed them to live in safer, healthier homes. It is part of URDC’s mission to Build a Better Germantown….One House at a Time.
A key part of URDC’s home repair program to low-income and senior homeowners is the offering of low-interest, non-collaterized loans that help pay for expensive exterior projects. In an effort to identify more bank partners to offer these loans, URDC has been working with FINANTA, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that facilitates access to capital and technical assistance in the Philadelphia region for entrepreneurial expansion, affordable home ownership, consumer borrowing, and community development.
In March, URDC met with FINANTA’s Advisory Committee composed of representatives from local Philadelphia banks. The banks were introduced to URDC’s mission and programs in northwest Philadelphia, as well as some success stories of homeowners who have benefited from URDC’s projects. A number of banks and institutions expressed interest in working with URDC, which will help expand the capacity of its highly successful home repair program.
URDC is pleased to add Mishkan Shalom as its newest congregation member! Mishkan Shalom (www.mishkan.org) is located in Roxbouough at 4101 Freeland Ave. It is a Reconstructionist synagogue that worked extensively with URDC in 2016 through the Interfaith Community Building Group (ICBG), composed of members from Mishkan Shalom, URDC member St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, and other communities.
ICBG has worked collaboratively with organizations in under-resourced communities on their construction projects. It has helped build or re-build a burned African-American church in Mississippi; a community center, church, houses and latrines in El Salvador (through RIC and USESSC); a post-Katrina church in New Orleans; and post-Sandy church buildings in Rockaway Park, NY. In July 2016, ICBG worked on a week long project with URDC to assist a number of senior and low-income homeowners in Germantown and Mt. Airy with home repairs. That work led them to explore a greater partnership through Mishkan Shalom with URDC, which culminated in the synagogue joining the URDC organization. Mr. Lance Laver and Mr. Steve Perkiss will represent Mishkan Shalom on URDC’s Board of Directors.
Mishkan Shalom is dedicated to repair the world through prayer, study and acts of caring. Its membership in URDC is a tangible sign of living out its mission.
On March 11, URDC participated in New Canaan Baptist Church’s third annual Home Services Resource Outreach Seminar. The Seminar was organized to provide information to the community on organizations that offer home services to the elderly and low-income at a reasonable price.
Besides URDC, My Way, Center in the Park, Habitat for Humanity, and The Energy Co-op also made presentations at the Seminar on their programs, which ranged from home repair, home rehab, senior home services, and energy bill savings. Over 100 community residents attended and were able to obtain valuable information on the various non-profit organizations that serve seniors and low-income families in the Germantown community.
URDC is proud to be part of this valuable outreach to the community. New Canaan Baptist Church is a member and financial supporter of URDC.
URDC recently hired Mr. Khaleel Evans as its Project Manager to oversee the Owner Occupied Home Repair program, which helps finance costly exterior home repairs for senior and low-income homeowners in northwest Philadelphia. The program has assisted over 250 families to live in safer, healthier homes thanks to URDC repairs.
Khaleel has extensive experience working with Philadelphia community organizations in contracting, residential construction, and estimation. He is the co-owner of Seamless Pros, LLC, a general contractor founded in 2004 that specializes in interior finish carpentry. He is also a private contractor with Craig Liebel/Ferrarini Remodeling whose work includes framing, electric, plumbing, HVAC, drywall, painting, and tiling. Khaleel attended Kutztown University, is OSHA 30 certified, and has a certificate in Construction Management from Temple University.
As Project Manager, Khallel will be working with URDC’s contractors on estimating the cost of home repairs for specific homeowners and on managing the repair projects to successful completion. Welcome Khaleel!