Kim Washington, Executive Director, presented a status report on the Frankford CDC (Community Development Corporation) at the Northeast EPIC Stakeholders meeting on April 30th. The good news is that the CDC after a long period of financial peril*, is now economically stable. That makes it possible to actually start doing the important work of bringing development to Frankford.
Washington introduced the staff of the CDC and they each gave a presentation of the work that they do:
- Christine DeJesus is the NAC (Neighborhood Advisory Committee) Coordinator. The NAC operates under a contract from the Office of Housing and Community Development and does home ownership programs, mortgage foreclosure prevention, utility assistance, rent rebates, basic systems repair and weatherization.
- Ellie Devyatkin and Ileana Garcia are the Commercial Corridor Managers. The support the Frankford Business and Professional Association; Facilitate revitalization and economic development for Frankford Avenue; Promote city funded programs to assist business owners with facade improvements, security cam implementation and in store improvements; Connect business owners with technical assistance through the City’s Office of Business Services.
- Eugene Thomas is the Cleaning Corridor Manager. He maintains the cleaning schedules; Promotes education around litter reduction; Facilitates neighborhood cleanup initiatives; Assists in removing illegal signage, trash and debris.
News from the meeting:
- Progress has been made in bringing the CDC up to professional standards for CDC’s and in line with that, in order to ensure proper financial controls for the organization, accounting has been turned over to an outside agency, the Urban Affairs Coalition.
- The contract for the Frankford NAC was originally with the New Kensington CDC but has now been assumed by the Frankford CDC. This change is an endorsement of the financial progress made by the CDC.
- The CDC had a contract last year with the Philadelphia Youth Network for students to work in Frankford as interns. They will do the same this year with from 25 to 40 students working here. Students may apply online at this link for a job this summer. To date there have been no drop outs among the students who worked in Frankford.
- Aria Health is continuing its partnership with the CDC in the program that allows them to divert a portion of the wage taxes that would be paid to the Frankford CDC. These funds provide much needed cash that allows the organization to do the things CDCs do outside of the programs funded by grants for a specific purpose. In addition, there was a successful fund raiser last year and more are planned for the same purpose.
- NAC elections was held on April 7th. The following were elected to the Neighborhood Advisory Committee: Hakim Mubarak, Charlene Lewis, Phil Robinson, Nafisah Lewis, Maria Goldston, Maineva White, Steve Blackburn and Jim Stanton.
- Related to Destination Frankford the new signage which has been designed and is now in production will start going up throughout the community in the Spring.
- The pop up park that will go into the lot on Paul Street off Frankford Avenue is moving ahead and should be completed in the Fall.
- The CDC has received a grant to prepare a strategic plan for the future. While this may not sound exciting it is a crucial step in getting development moving in the community.
The next Northeast EPIC Stakeholders meeting will be held on May 28th at 5:30 PM at Second Baptist Church at 1801 Meadow Street.
*The financial issues came during the period when the CDC was doing a lot of building: Meadow House, houses on Paul Street, purchases of other properties for rehabbing and flipping, new headquarters building on Frankford Avenue, etc. Some of those ventures turned sour and the result was debt and lost years trying to sort it all out.