Kennett Square Borough Supports KACS’ Efforts to Increase Housing for All

 The Borough of Kennett Square is supporting the Kennett Area Community Service’s (KACS) Housing Initiative to increase the affordable housing inventory in the Kennett area. “This effort was forged out of the urgent need to provide housing for all household income levels in the community,” said Cheryl Miles, Community Housing Development Director at KACS.  
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers housing affordable when the occupants pay no more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses, including utilities. 
According to U.S. Census figures provided to the MediaNews Group, between 2016 and 2021, Chester County lost more than 5,500 rental units priced below $1,500 a month, dropping from the inventory from 31,425 such units to 25,889. Meanwhile, the number of rental units — houses and apartments — that cost more than $1,500 a month, grew from 12,319 to 17,991 over the same period. 
Chester County Department of Community Development reports there are 1,408 existing affordable units for 3,342 people and there are few vacancies. Low-income households are disproportionately impacted by the lack of inventory and often find themselves paying more than 30% of their income toward housing. Cheryl Miles explains, “Such households face many challenges, like paying utilities, securing food, maintaining reliable transportation, accessing health care, and other basic needs, when most of their income is spent on housing. These unaddressed challenges could ultimately lead to homelessness.”  
“Kennett Square Borough sees firsthand the difficulty many people face in finding a home in Kennett Square, especially for people of lower incomes. Kennett has become a special place to live with great schools and a wonderful place to raise a family, and with that housing has become quite expensive. We support KACS and the heartwarming work they do to support some of our most vulnerable residents to find a place to live in the Borough and surrounding area” notes Bob Norris, Kennett Square Council President.   
In 1948, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognized adequate housing as a component of the human right to an adequate standard of living. Kennett Area Community Service (KACS) Housing Initiative is focused on developing a systemic approach to providing homes that treat housing not as a commodity but as a human right. “We are pleased that our mission aligns with our local government’s housing goals, enabling us to work together to address a community issue,” says Cheryl Miles.  
Recently, KACS underwent the process of becoming a Chester County Community Housing Development Organization, a designation that empowers KACS to economically invest in residential properties in our service area that will become permanent, sustainable, affordable rental options for low-income families. These efforts could include soliciting property donations, end-of-life properties to be rehabilitated, and land to be developed into rental units, though community suggestions on alternative actions would be welcomed. More information on this effort can be foundhere, and contact information for KACS can be found below.  
To learn about this new partnership, please contact: 
Cheryl Miles
Community Housing Development Director
Ph: (610) 925-3556 x 122
Cherylm@KASCImpact.org
Community Housing
Kennett Area Community Services (KACS)
136 West Cedar Street, Kennett Square, PA 19248

For any questions or concerns, you can contact the Borough during normal business hours at 610-444-6020 (please call 877-648-3081 after business hours) or via email at help@kennettsq.org.
Borough of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania | 600 S. Broad Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348

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