Although City Council was planning on returning to in-person meetings later in September, Council President Clarke announced that City Council will continue to meet virtually due to the spread of the Delta variant. Its first fall legislative session is on Friday, September 17.
Hurricane or not, Philadelphia remains at-risk for flooding. Federal and local surveys found large portions of Philadelphia are at considerable risk of flooding even during non-hurricanes, with the risk increasing due to the effects of climate change. City officials are urging residents to prepare for the next flood and are looking to use COVID-19 aid to help businesses hurt by Ida’s floods.
A proposed plan to require off-street parking for new construction and facade reviews (among other things) in parts of Germantown has created a rift between residents and urban activists. Activists say the new plan, developed by the City Planning Commission, does little to address housing shortage in the area and encourages low-density homes. The Planning Commission says it addressed long-held concerns from residents about the livability of the increasingly commercial area. WHYY has more.
Philadelphia International Airport has welcomed over 8,500 Afghan evacuees since flights began to land last week. The majority of those who arrive in Philadelphia will be temporarily housed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in southern New Jersey. The city is also looking for volunteers who are able to interpret Dari, Pashto, Urdu, or Farsi.
Philadelphia’s supply of affordable housing is being threatened as nearly 21 percent of city landlords listed their properties for sale in 2020. A hot buyer’s market and decrease in rent collection due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are the major causes. Finding affordable housing in Philadelphia was a struggle pre-pandemic, and advocates worry the decreased property supply will exacerbate this problem.
Chester County is joining Philadelphia’s other collar counties in signing an agreement to evaluate the feasibility of the different counties sourcing their energy from a single, new renewable energy plant. While any plant construction would be years away, the county commissioners say forethought is essential to take advantage of technology and economies of scale.