On Saturday June 9, 2012, 75 local leaders gathered for the First Suburbs Project’s Public Briefing at the Drexel Hill United Methodist Church. The Briefing including the release of a recent Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) study that identifies a significant mismatch between housing and jobs. The briefing included state and federal policy recommendations — including action on school funding in the state’s 2012 budget and passage of a bi-partisan federal transportation reauthorization bill — to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness, and promote regional opportunity and sustainability.
In 2008, the First Suburbs Project secured funding support from the Department of Community and Economic Development to study the alignment of jobs and housing in the four suburban counties. DVRPC was recruited to conduct the study, and expanded it to a study of the entire metropolitan region. After assessing the region’s current housing stock to evaluate the balance between jobs and housing, the report concludes that many of the region’s largest employment centers are located in growing suburbs, in places that lack both affordable housing opportunities and transit access.
Speakers included Upper Darby’s Mayor Micozzie, Upper Darby School District Superintendent DeVlieger, Lansdowne’s Mayor Young and Mary Bell of DVRPC.