Southwest Philadelphia residents sue a nuisance auto body shop and property owners behind their homes and demand action

April 26, 2023 — A concentration of auto body repair shops plague Southwest Philadelphia, presenting myriad environmental hazards. The City’s Department of Licenses and Inspection (“L&I”) attempts to sanction the businesses’ dangerous and unlawful behavior through inspections, violations, and fines, but enforcement remains elusive. L&I struggles to ensure compliance with the City Code, and owners […]

30 Philadelphia community gardens and nonprofits call on the Land Bank to end its 30-year mortgage requirement for community gardens and open spaces

March 13, 2023 – Green open spaces, like community gardens and urban farms, are critical neighborhood anchors across Philadelphia. Since its inception, one goal of the Land Bank has been to protect and preserve these resources for Philadelphians. But since 2020, a routine Land Bank practice has worked at cross-purposes to this goal: attaching 30-year […]

New Jerusalem receives deed from the Philadelphia Land Bank

April 22, 2019: The Philadelphia Land Bank has conveyed a deed to 2006 North Woodstock Street to New Jerusalem for the nominal fee of $1.00, following the recommendation of the Vacant Properties Review Commission and approval from Philadelphia City Council. This gives New Jerusalem, a residential recovery center run by nondenominational nuns, full legal ownership of […]

New Grounded in Philly online resource ecosystem will help more Philadelphians turn vacant lots into community spaces

Grounded in Philly, a revamped online resource ecosystem launching April 11 will help Philadelphia residents access the information and support they need to turn abandoned vacant lots into community gardens and other open space.

Eastwick Weighs in On Proposed Development Strategy

After a two-year community-based land study process, Philadelphia’s Interface Studio, a planning firm hired by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), released the Eastwick Public Lands Strategy (EPLS) on July 26. The document lays out a strategy with options for mixed-use development — residential, open space and commercial space — for about 200 acres in the Eastwick […]

In Positive Shift, Philadelphia City Agencies Transfer Land to Community Garden

The Garden Justice Legal Initiative worked with the Philadelphia Land Bank to facilitate the transfer of five city-owned lots to New Jerusalem community garden

Spreading Garden Justice With a CLE and Clinic

The Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI) broadened their impact in Philadelphia with a CLE and legal clinic, training over two dozen new attorneys and answering legal questions for several community gardens. Both events were hosted by Public Interest Law Center staff attorney Ebony Griffin. On April 4, 2018, the Garden Justice Legal Initiative […]

While Community Gardeners Conclude Legal Actions to Secure Land, Promise of Philadelphia Land Bank Remains Unfulfilled

This week, two community gardens – New Jerusalem and the Philadelphia Catholic Worker’s La Finquita – concluded legal actions in attempts to secure permanent access to land. Both groups have been stewarding once-vacant land for more than three decades. The Public Interest Law Center represents these organizations.

Right to Know Request Filed as Part of Philly Healthy Schools Initiative

Mold and other conditions in Philadelphia public schools that are hazardous to students’ health have increasingly become a major concern for parents and the general public over the past few months. That’s why on October 19th, 2017, we submitted a Right-to-know request to the School District of Philadelphia on behalf of Hon. Derek S. Green, Hon. Helen Gym, Hon. Cindy Bass, and PennEnvironment.

Labor Unions, Parent Groups, and Health Experts Join Philly Council Members to Announce Citywide Coalition to Tackle Environmental Health Threats in Public Schools

As Philadelphia City Council heard testimony from concerned citizens at a public hearing about the city’s public schools, a powerful coalition of unusual suspects announced the kick-off of the “Philly Health Schools Initiative” to address significant building condition deficiencies and related environmental health threats found in public school buildings, including lead paint, asbestos, mold and other risks.