Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee

Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation

Hearing on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Prepared Testimony of Ms. Rita Alice Brown
Dunlap Apartments

2:30p.m., Wendesday, May 12, 1999

My name is Rita Brown. My home is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am one of the many senior citizens living on a low-income budget. I am here today to ask all concerned to support the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. This program has helped make it possible for seniors with a low income to keep their self-respect, have a clean and safe place to live.

An old elementary school in my neighborhood was converted into a beautiful apartment building in 1990. This project has helped to improve the appearance of our community, and seniors with a low income that live in the neighborhood now have a comfortable and suitable place to live. I am happy to say that I am one of the tenants. I graduated from this school in 1941.

In my past professional career, I was a practical nurse, but retired in 1979 due to severe arthritis. As my condition worsened, it became increasingly difficult for me to climb stairs or remain in my old apartment. I was forced with a decision to move and on a limited budget, I searched for an apartment that offered affordable rents, quality living conditions and one that was equipped with an elevator.

I was delightfully surprised when I saw the Dunlap School had been converted into senior apartments. I was one of the first residents to move into the Dunlap in 1992.

The Dunlap, is under the Pennrose Management Company. The low rent is only available because tax credits were used. Without the assistance, there would be no way for me to live here. My social security check is the only income I receive. Due to programs like this one, seniors with a low income can rent decent and safe housing in their neighborhood. If we seniors had to pay the higher market rent, we would not be able to afford our other living expenses.

There are other projects like the Dunlap that do not have the programs to cover all their needs for low income living. We donít wish to become homeless because we have a low income. Please be concerned and think, "this could be me". I want you to know, to be able to live my senior years in the school building I attended in my youth, and my old neighborhood, keeps my spirits high and my hopes alive.

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