3401 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104
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3401 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104
267.225.8356 info@centennialparkside.org

Joyce Smith

Joyce Smith

Trustee

I am committed to housing preservation, eliminating blight & abandonment in the East Parkside community and a champion of “real” affordable housing.

Quick Life Story:

I grew up in the Haddington Section of West Philadelphia in a working class neighborhood. Streets were lined with small two story houses. I played and went to school with the same children from my neighborhood. It was a close knit community. I remember talking to my friends on hot summer nights from our perspective backyards – separated by a narrow alleyway. The view of my community was not marred by abandonment or blight. But, then the continuity I once treasured abruptly ended.

Houses were torn down and now our community had scores of vacant lots. I can’t recall any homes that were in such disrepair to warrant a mass demolition initiative. It seemed like my friends’ homes vanished over night. Childhood friends disappeared and long time bonds between neighbors, who were more like family, was lost. It was urban renewal at its worse. Living through a neighborhood’s decline and looking at vacant lots where friends and adult role models once lived had a profound and lasting effect on me. That experience is the root of my passion for preserving housing, making it affordable and finding solutions for neighborhoods in decline.

Professional:

Consumer Housing Paralegal – Philadelphia Legal Assistance – represent homeowners who are facing mortgage and real estate tax and collection activity and foreclosure.

Board member of : Viola Street Residents Association (Community Development Officer), the Philadelphia Planning Commission’s Citizen Planning Institute Advisory Board and the Parkside Historic District Coalition. In 2015 recipient of the Philadelphia Association of the Community Development Corporation “Community Leadership Award” for outstanding leadership by community members in advancing neighborhood improvement and revitalization. Continuing education in Community Development and Housing: through Neighborworks, Center for Community Progress, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Board, Citizen’s Planning Institute, and Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations.

BA in Communications and Journalism at Temple University.