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Old 06-13-2016, 07:47 AM
2 posts, read 1,848 times
Reputation: 10


Hello, I live in NYC and am a section 8 voucher holder and I'm considering moving to Pennsylvania.

I'm Disabled and on a kidney transplant list in Pennsylvania. So moving to Pennsylvania because it will make my transplant easier for me and also I need to leave NY for safety reasons for me and my son.

Problem is I don't know anything about Pennsylvania and I don't want to move from where I am in NYC to something worst in Pennsylvania.

I also don't drive (born and bred NYC and never needed to have a car) so I need to move somewhere that has decent public transportation, at least until I learn how to drive.

So what are decent places to live for low income disabled people in Pennsylvania? I get that no place is going to be paradise, especially since I have section 8 and want to stay close to the Urban areas. But I don't have a rich Uncle to send my son too if I end up in rough parts (Fresh Prince of Bel Air joke) so I need somewhere relatively safe that i can get around by bus.

Also I'm looking to get as close to the west side of Philadelphia as possible. Close to Ohio and the like would be great. Any suggestions would be very helpful. THANK YOU!!!

Last edited by toobusytoday; 06-13-2016 at 09:56 AM.. Reason: adding "C" to NY and fixed typos for clarity
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:59 AM
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Safe and section 8 combined with public transportation is a real tricky combination. Adding "close to Ohio" makes it impossible. Just like in NYC, the safe areas won't have much section 8 availability. If that's a further out suburb, they may not have good public transportation. Ohio is almost 8 hours drive from Philadelphia. However, Philly forum people may have some suggestions for a compromise location (minus the Ohio component)
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:51 AM
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,239 posts, read 798,194 times
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How much is your housing voucher? If you move to Philly, will your voucher be reduced due to lower cost of living.

How much are you looking to spend on rent? This will determine your options.

In addition, since you do not have a rich brother in Bel-Air, are you looking for a good school for your son? IMHO, this should be your number one priority. Good schools go hand in hand with safe areas. And if a good area is accessible by SEPTA train, housing costs much more, so you may have to look into commuting by bus.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:01 PM
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Thanks for the responses!

My voucher is for about 1500 in New York but Im sure it will be reduced if I move to P.A. I don't know how much it would be. Whatever the going rate is for a 2 bedroom apt in that area Pennsylvania would be my new voucher amount.

If I had a car I would try for the suburbs. By with my health problems I cannot take the chance of being too far away from grocery stores, hospitals and stuff like that. My son is only 11 and if something happens to me we are better off where there are lots of people to help.

Im not to worried about school. Worst comes to worst i can home school. Thats what im doing right now anyway because public schools in my area are rough.

Thanks for trying to help. I've been living in New York my whole adult life and never been robbed or had any problems, even though Ive lived in some rough parts including flatbush Bk and Hollis Queens.

But I dont know anything about Pennsylvania so im nervous about a new environment. Feel like Ill be a fish out of water.
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:52 AM
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,632 posts, read 12,787,411 times
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I understand that it very difficult to find Section 8 housing within the city of Philadelphia. I was listening to a local radio program recently on Section 8 and it was reported those who could not wait for years on a waiting list find themselves applying for housing is some rather rough, shabby, and undesirable nearby towns like Darby or even in South Jersey.

BTW Philly is nowhere near Ohio. We are close to New Jersey and Delaware. Perhaps you're thinking of Pittsburgh?
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:33 AM
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,208 posts, read 3,046,307 times
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Personally, I think it's time we raised our voices about expanding Housing Choice deeper into the city's suburbs. Socioeconomic diversity benefits the poor a lot.

But most of the Philly suburbs where you can find landlords who accept the vouchers (a) have lousy school districts (b) aren't terribly easy to get around without a car (c) have crime problems of their own or (d) have some combination of (a), (b) and (c).

I don't know how the vouchers work, but I would suggest taking your chances on Philadelphia itself. Most of the city's public schools aren't that hot, but there are some good ones, and there are even more good charter schools. Germantown, where I live, is not terribly dangerous, has good transit connections and acceptable local shopping, has decent parks and playgrounds, and has a bunch of well-run charter schools run by Mastery Charter Schools, a highly regarded operator. (Those schools include Francis Pastorius, two blocks east of my home.) This would also put your child on track to get into one of the city's magnet or academic high schools, which ARE good (Masterman, one of three specialized academic schools, is the single best public high school in the state and usually ranks among the 50 best in the country. Of course, parents kill to get their kids into it, but once you clear the academic bar, admission is by lottery, so you can't game the system. There's always Central, or Girls High if you have a daughter, or Academy at Palumbo, one of the subject-focused magnets like Creative & Performing Arts, Bodine International Affairs, Saul Agricultural, or Girard Academic Music Program).

Parts of Northeast Philadelphia, especially the Lower Northeast, might also work for you. Oxford Circle, Castor Gardens, Wissinoming, Lawncrest and the adjacent neighborhoods of Lawndale and Crescentville, are all decent choices for someone in your situation, and I'm pretty sure there are a number of landlords in the first of these neighborhoods who take vouchers. The further up you go in the Northeast, however, the less convenient the transit gets, though it's never awful.

If you want to take your chances against long odds, you can see if there's still any voucher properties available in Queen Village. That neighborhood's all gentrified, but there is some subsidized housing at its southern end, and if you did find a place there, you'd be in the attendance zone of the best elementary school in the School District of Philadelphia, William Meredith. Some other good choices around Center City are Kearny in Northern Liberties, Greenfield in Rittenhouse/Fitler, and Bache-Martin in Fairmount. There's also Penn Alexander just to the west of Center City, in University City next to the Penn campus, but it's already oversubscribed. Chester Arthur in G-Ho (Graduate Hospital, named for a defunct hospital at the neighborhood's north edge) has an active parents group and is improving, from what I hear. This page shows the attendance zones for all of these schools save Penn Alexander:

Kids in Center City Philadelphia | Center City District + Central Philadelphia Development Corporation

It's actually possible to find housing in Center City where your voucher's good; Washington Square West in particular has a fair bit of it, and George McCall is another of those good public schools. But you're going to wait a good long while to get into it.
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