Pennsylvania's U.S. senators are trying to legislate an end to the feud between the Philadelphia Housing Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey yesterday cosponsored an amendment to a housing bill that would spell out a way to prevent Philadelphia from losing as much as $40 million in federal funding.
Under the amendment, PHA would have 45 days to hire an outside expert to prove that at least 5 percent of its housing is accessible to people with disabilities. If it could prove that, the authority would retain for a year its special status as a "Moving to Work" agency, which affords more flexibility in how the city can spend federal housing funds.
The amendment is similar to a settlement reached between PHA and HUD on March 31, but sets more favorable terms for PHA, said Kirk Dorn, a PHA spokesman. Under it, PHA's funding would be frozen for a year; the HUD settlement offer, in contrast, would start making some changes in programs, he said.
- Jennifer Lin