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VIP in Action Published February 28, 2024

A Historic Investment in Philly Homeownership and Housing

VIP is a proud grantee of the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative (NPI), a historic, multi-agency City investment in homeownership and affordable housing. A new video featuring interviews with VIP staff and homeowner clients details the impact of the program so far; you can watch it here or at the bottom of this post.

VIP clients Leslie and Esther Davis (featured in a segment starting at 3:09) were among the thousands of Philly residents with tangled titles, which prevent them from reaping all the rewards of legal homeownership and imperil millions of dollars of Philadelphians’ family wealth. Leslie explained her difficulties getting title to her family home without a VIP attorney’s help:

“[I was asking,] Where do I start? How do I put the house into my name? Grandmom said I could have it, but I didn’t know it went to her children first. The fees were starting to add up.”

The NPI is an expansion of decades of City investment in addressing tangled titles. In 2021, City Council worked with a coalition of elected officials, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, and the Division of Housing and Community Development to roll out this massive endeavor to resolve tangled titles in the hardest-hit neighborhoods.

Thanks to the NPI, VIP volunteer lawyers serve more low-income residents with tangled titles than ever before. And we’re not alone—VIP is one agency in a team of service providers including Community Legal Services, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, the Senior Law Center, and more who work together to tackle housing issues in Philadelphia.

We do this work for Philadelphians like Esther and her daughter Leslie, who now owns her family home:

“I’m glad I did it! It feels like security. It’s my home – I did not want to leave this home.”