Reps. Isaacson, Hohenstein and Cruz announce $75K in tax credits for revitalizing Kensington

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 –State Reps. Mary Isaacson, Angel Cruz and Joseph Hohenstein, all D-Phila., today announced that $75,000 in tax credits were awarded to the New Kensington Community Development Corp., to allow NKCDC to combat the opioid crisis and gentrification in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, which spans across the 175th, 177th and 180th legislative districts.

The tax credits were funded by the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program. The tax credits will allow NKCDC to continue tackling poverty, joblessness and homelessness through housing advisors that provide financial coaching to increase homeownership rates and reduce foreclosure rates; and to create open space management and community engagement teams to stabilize vacant lots and convert them for community use. The community engagement teams will also help local youth and adults connect with support services. Lastly, NKCDC will create an economic development team to leverage resources from local businesses to develop self-sufficiency skills.

“Kensington is the epicenter of the opioid crisis and, like a shockwave, it has crippled the community’s ability to not only thrive, but move forward,” said Isaacson, who represents the 175th district. “This tax credit will help NKCDC to rebuild and revitalize this community by addressing substance abuse disorder, poverty, affordable housing and economic development.”

Hohenstein said tackling the opioid epidemic begins with the stabilization of Kensington.

“To quell citywide addiction, we must zone in on the source, which is Kensington, and empower residents to take back their neighborhoods,” Hohenstein said. “Once Kensington is restored to being a vibrant community, it will eliminate not only addiction, but poverty, homelessness and joblessness. The community will also not fall victim to predatory real estate development and gentrification.” 

Cruz, who represents the 180th district, concurred with his colleagues, adding, “NKCDC is adequately addressing all the root causes of the disenfranchisement of Kensington and it is our duty as state officials to continue advocating for state funding so that NKCDC has the necessary tools to continue uplifting this community.”

The tax credit announced Monday is through the Neighborhood Assistance Program, or NAP, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. It’s intended to encourage businesses to invest in projects that improve distressed areas or support neighborhood conservation.