Port Richmond residents who once used the Allegheny Avenue office of the Kensington Area Neighborhood Advisory Committee (KANAC) will now need to go elsewhere for services.
Last week, the office – a satellite branch of the New Kensington Community Development Company (NKCDC) – which the community group had maintained since 1997, was shuttered after the NKCDC saw cuts to its federal funding.
The KANAC has been moved to the NKCDC’s main office, at 2515 Frankford Ave.
Shanta Schachter, deputy director of the NKCDC, said the group stepped in to start the satellite office - located at 2423 E. Allegheny Ave. - after the Kensington Action Now and the Kensington Area Revitalization Project, both of which had been housed there, closed their doors.
“We stepped in to fill the gaps,” she said during an interview Friday, July 6.
This year, Schachter said, due to cuts to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program, the NKCDC and the KANAC have consolidated operations in the Frankford Avenue office for the foreseeable future.
Schachter said that the NKCDC, which has a service area that stretches from about Penn Treaty Park on Delaware Avenue, west to Kensington Avenue, north to Lehigh Street and back to the river, will not see any cuts to service with the closure of this office.
In fact, neither will the KANAC, which extends the NKCDC’s impact area from Lehigh Avenue, north to Ramona Street in Hunting Park and east to the Betsy Ross Bridge, following the river south along Delaware Avenue.
“That’s the one thing we have really been trying to make clear,” she said. “Everything will still exist, just in a new location.”
All services that had been available to residents at the Allegheny Avenue office will still be available in the NKCDC’s headquarters on Frankford Avenue.
She said that little has changed—even the phone numbers that had once connected callers to the Allegheny Avenue office will still work to connect to the Frankford Avenue location.
Recently, the NKCDC has been working to support neighbors near the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street. There, the group helped create the Somerset Neighbors for Better Living (SNBL).
Schachter said that the NKCDC will continue to support this group. In fact, the Frankford Avenue office is closer to the SNBL’s target area than the Allegheny Avenue office ever was.
“None of the momentum will be lost,” she said of the work with the SNBL. “It’s just a moving of offices.”
Schachter said that ongoing efforts that had been handled in the KANAC office - like maintenance to the Allegheny Avenue commercial corridor, façade improvements to businesses in that area and other services for the Port Richmond and Kensington communities - will still be supported in the NKCDC’s main office.
Also, walk-in services, like rent rebates and tax assistance services that had been handled at the Allegheny Avenue office, will still be available.
“We just have to make sure everyone knows to come down to our Frankford Avenue office,” she said.
For any residents with questions about the office closure, please call 215-427-0350 for more information.
Star Staff Reporter Hayden Mitman can be contacted at 215-354-3124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.