| Habitat for
Humanity - Germantown
for Humanity/Germantown was formed by a group of volunteers for the
purpose of rehabilitating vacant and vandalized housing in southwest
Germantown. The effort
focuses on Pulaski Town. 24 sites were identified for potential
acquisition through Philadelphia's Donor-Taker program.
Under the program owners of vacant properties are identified and
requested to donate the house to the City.
Back taxes and liens are forgiven and the properties are turned
over to qualified non-profits, such as Habitat for Humanity.
Partner families are selected from a pool of applicants who are
currently under-housed. There
are generally 70 applicants for each house.
The selected family commits at the outset to working with Habitat
for 330 hours. The house is sold at cost.
Habitat holds the mortgage interest free. Monthly payments by the partner family are about $400 a
month, including the mortgage, insurance and utilities. Energy-efficient construction helps to reduce monthly costs.
Family income is generally less than $15,000 per year.
Town is located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, eight miles
northwest of City Hall. Large
single-family houses surround the ten-block area. The central commercial district of Germantown is a ten-minute
walk to the northeast. Busses,
commuter trains and tree-lined streets provide ready access to other city
neighborhoods. Pulaski Town
was built as a community of about 2,000 units of affordable housing owned
by black freemen. The
homeowners largely built the houses.
Neighborhood commercial businesses were mostly owned by families
who did not live in Pulaski Town. Residential
and neighborhood commercial construction in the area took place from the
mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century