April 21, 2015


Mayor Nutter,  Councilwoman Tasco,  Commerce Director Alan Greenberg, Special People In Northeast Corporate Officer Mindy Lutts and Urban Affairs Coalition President Sharmain Matlock-Turner speak about how Public Private Partnerships Help Improve Communities 

On Wednesday, April 22 City Officials and area employers will join the Urban Affairs Coalition’s Community and Economic Development Committee to celebrate a program that creates value for all stakeholders involved.

Launched in 2004, the Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now (PHBN) managed by the Urban Affairs Coalition has awarded 409 grants, totaling over $1.3 million (the average grant size is $3,178). These grants awarded by the city of Philadelphia have been combined with $2.2 million provided by 53 participating employers who have helped their employees purchase homes, leveraging $82 million in home sales in Philadelphia.  Recent sales result in a return to the City of a $1.60 for each dollar invested (realty transfer tax and first year property tax) not including real estate taxes paid in subsequent years. 

Employees in designated target areas are awarded up to $4,000 (Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University have designated target areas) and up to $2,000 in matching grants for home buyers outside of targeted areas and within Philadelphia.

Special People in the Northeast (SPIN), which employs our 400th awardee, employ 949 people in the region and is a long time program participant.   SPIN was recently recognized by the Philadelphia Inquirer as one of the top places to work in the region:

“As a participating employer in the Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now (PHBN) program, we are proud to serve our employees by providing financial assistance so that they can purchase a home in Philadelphia.   We have 22 employees who have purchased homes through this program since we first joined and we are excited that one of our employees is the 400th homebuyer! “  -  Mindy Lutts, Corporate Officer, Organizational Development

Shareemah Cooper is lucky number 400.    Ms. Cooper, a native Philadelphian and SPIN employee since 2006, is a first time homebuyer.   She received $2000 from the Home•Buy•Now Program and her employer matched those dollars, giving her a combined grant of $4000 to purchase her first home.  When asked, Ms. Cooper said, “I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Home•Buy•Now Program and my employer, Special People in the Northeast for helping me become a homeowner.”

Councilwoman Marian Tasco, “I am excited to welcome Ms. Shareemah Cooper to the 9th Council District as a homeowner.  Homeowners strengthen our community because they have invested their hard earned dollars.   They want to see their investment grow.”

Alan Greenberg, Commerce Director, City of Philadelphia, “Investment in programs like Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now produce a triple return to our City:  employers get a more productive workforce, homebuyers save on the cost of their commute, and the City’s investment is repaid immediately upon the sale of the property.”

Sharmain Matlock-Turner President and CEO of UAC, “The Urban Affairs Coalition has been working in the Philadelphia community for more than 45 years.  The Coalition developed the Philadelphia Mortgage Plan which ended discriminatory mortgage lending by partnering with the city and Philadelphia’s banks.  We are proud that this partnership has continued under the CED Committee with the Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now Program. “

A recent study commissioned by the Urban Affairs Coalition and conducted by the Wharton Social Impact Consulting Group affirmed that the program provides wide-ranging benefits, including:

▪       Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now grant recipients save an average of $2,400 a year in commuter costs by living closer to their place of work.

▪       91% of the Philadelphia Home•Buy•Now grant recipients are still living in their homes, demonstrating that the program contributes to stability and a sense of community for Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.

▪       Though this is not a program targeting low income families, 45% of grant recipients earn less than $65,000 a year.

The Urban Affairs Coalition’s CED Department has successfully managed the program since its inception.  CED is actively seeking funding to replenish the incentive fund which was recently exhausted.  We will however encourage the 23 employers who are currently participating in the program to continue to offer the program.

This event is open to all press. For more information please contact Angela Goode at 215-851-1738.

Press Conference: 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5:15pm – 6:00pm

Special People in Northeast (SPIN)

10989 Norcom Road

Philadelphia, PA 19154


About the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC)

The Urban Affairs Coalition unites government, business, neighborhoods, and individual initiatives to improve the quality of life in the region, build wealth in urban communities, and solve emerging issues. Please visit for more information.


About the CED Committee

The Community and Economic Development Department is governed by a 55 member Committee that includes banks, non-profit organizations and community development professionals.  These organizations work together to bring capital, financial education and other resources to local communities to ensure the stability, growth and vitality of the region.