New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) serves the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia which has long suffered the effects of disinvestment following the departure of industry. Families face recurring crises and traumatic experiences that come with persistent poverty, unemployment, displacement, stress, crime, addiction, and poor physical and environmental health.
With over 2,000 market rate housing units built or planned in our target service area, the Kensington section of Philadelphia is at a tipping point: this neighborhood will either lose a significant share of its current residents, a majority of whom are people of color, or intense private real estate development will be balanced by an increase in affordable homes and commercial spaces. Experience elsewhere has shown that lower-income neighborhoods can be helped by establishing a land trust, deed restrictions, or other means of ensuring permanent affordability and community control over real estate. These tools help limit the impact of private developers and ensure that lower income residents can still afford homes and commercial spaces even while the value of neighboring real estate is increasing rapidly.
We are looking for a VISTA who is passionate about fighting displacement and has an appetite for diving into the details of how land trusts and deed restrictions work. Our VISTA will evaluate models of permanent affordability and community control, and work with community residents to determine the structure that will be most effective here. Further help on this page can be found by clicking here.
The NKCDC VISTA will learn about the number of parcels that are owned by real estate speculators in our area, and the number of planned market rate housing units. You will work with housing counselors to establish a process for educating, vetting, and onboarding potential homebuyers and serve as a liaison with community residents, lenders and legal counsel. You will assist in the identification of properties for acquisition and development and assist with fundraising efforts for acquiring and developing property. You will also advance efforts to build other mechanisms for increasing the supply of affordable housing, including establishing a process for using conservatorship to eliminate blight and develop property.
Our VISTA must enjoy working with diverse people, be passionate about preventing displacement and community control over real estate and have a talent for facilitating spirited discussions.
VISTA membership is a volunteer program that comes with benefits such as a living allowance, health benefits, end of service education/cash stipend, and professional development opportunities administered directly by the AmeriCorp VISTA program. Learn more at https://americorps.gov/members-volunteers/vista/benefits.