Housing Fair scheduled for April 9
The annual housing fair hosted by the Montgomery County Partners for Home Ownership is scheduled for April 9 at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, 201 E. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The free event will offer the chance for interested people to speak with over 30 exhibitors – mortgage companies, banks, Realtors, home inspection agencies, insurance agents, housing oriented non-profits, government agencies and consumer credit agencies – in a “no sales pitch” environment about the latest grant programs, first-time homebuyer mortgage options or reverse mortgages for seniors. There are workshops planned throughout the day along with exciting door prizes. Visit www.mcpho.org for the workshop schedule and a list of exhibitors.
Source: Montgomery News; 4/6/2011
County “Housing First” initiative to focus on the homeless
Montgomery County is preparing to launch “Housing First,” a pilot homeless housing initiative. The program will place families in permanent housing, rather than a shelter, in order to quickly stabilize the family environment. The plan is to use $866,080 in unused community development block grants, along with an additional $500,000 from the current year block grant allocation, to allow nonprofit housing development companies to refurbish acquired properties into residential units for rent to homeless families. County Housing and Community Development Director Kathy L. Phifer feels that homeless shelters are not the most effective response to homelessness. Montgomery County has about 11 homeless shelters with a total of 755 beds and a 98 percent occupancy rate. The proposal will be considered by county commissioners next week.
Source: The Intelligencer; 4/6/2011
Schools form task force seeking solutions to budget woes
School superintendents from the Spring-Ford Area, Lower Merion, Upper Merion Area, Upper Moreland, Methacton and Jenkintown school districts have joined with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (IU) to form the Superintendents’ Task Force on Cooperative Services. The task force will focus on cost-effective solutions to reduce fixed expenses in their budgets. Ideas include creating a county wide contract for demand-response electricity purchase; having the IU provide curriculum services to reduce administrative costs; and developing regional contracts for real estate appraisal services. The real estate appraisal contract would allow the task force to hire real estate appraisal experts on retainer to battle assessment appeals, and eliminating the need for the districts to contract the services on their own. All of the Montgomery County school district superintendents are paying attention to the task force ideas to reduce budget expenses.
Source: Montgomery News; 4/5/2011
Spring-Ford School Board approves 54 job cuts
The Spring-Ford Area School Board recently approved several budget cuts, including the termination of 24 custodial staff, 30 instructional assistants and one technology support assistant staff member. One administrator was reduced to part-time principal status and several curricular programs were restructured, resulting in the removal of several teaching positions. A vote to hire an outside janitorial firm was tabled so that the district may consider other options. Spring-Ford is facing a $10.4 million deficit in its $131.6 million 2011-12 budget. Click here for the school district website.
Source: The Pottstown Mercury; 3/29/2011
Upper Moreland looks to offset budget deficit
Upper Moreland’s preliminary 2011-12 budget still has a $1.5 million deficit, down about $1 million from a month ago. However, according to Business Director Michael Braun, there are more cuts to come and a lot of work ahead to recoup the money that could be lost if Gov. Corbett’s budget plan is approved by state legislators. Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget has Upper Moreland paying for charter schools ($44,000), losing special education funding ($32,000), and giving up $149,470 in block grant money. However, the largest proposed cut in the governor’s budget comes from the plan to recalculate Social Security reimbursements for school districts; a potential loss of $284,840 to Upper Moreland. The district is currently investigating a challenge to the $218,000 it lost from commercial property reassessment. Officials said Upper Moreland could potentially lose nearly $18 million due to assessment appeals in coming years.
Source: The Intelligencer; 3/30/2011
Buying or Selling in The Greater Philadelphia Area
Buying or selling a home in The Greater Philadelphia area can be a daunting process in a city this size, especially if you’re new to town. You’ll need a resident expert to show you around and help you narrow down the areas where you might like to live. I will help you find the perfect home in the right area to fit your lifestyle, budget and needs! There are many area options to choose from including Montgomery County, Bucks County, Philadelphia as well as other surrounding counties.
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If you have tried to sell your home on your own, have already listed with an agent but were not able to sell, or have any questions about today’s real estate market, we would love to talk to you.
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For more information on how I can best serve your Greater Philadelphia real estate needs including Bucks and Montgomery Counties please fill out the contact form below or give me a call at 215-646-2162
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