Developer Kenny Gamble above. His friend Alphonso below…
ThePhiladelphia Inquirer has a good article on the fight over land that was behind the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s lawsuit against HUD and claims that Alphonso Jackson helped out developer and friend Kenny Gamble. Here is the beginning of that article…
On June 19, 2006, Mayor John F. Street called a summit for two powerful players in Philadelphia real estate.
On one side was Kenny Gamble, the millionaire R&B maestro whose
local nonprofit – Universal Community Homes – was a developer in the
Martin Luther King Plaza public housing project in South Philadelphia.
On the other was Carl R. Greene, the head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, who was in charge of the redevelopment.
The men were at war over four parcels of land.
Greene refused to give the land to Universal. He said Universal hadn’t
done any work to earn it. And if Gamble didn’t like it, he could get a
lawyer to negotiate buying the land.
After Street had left and the meeting had ended, Greene said, Gamble leaned toward him and said, “I don’t need lawyers.”
“I have friends.”(my emphasis)
Yes he did as Gamble was able to get Alphonso to come visit the land in question…
When Greene learned of the housing secretary’s visit several days later, he was livid.
“I’m used to people pushing back and calling in favors, or calling
politicians,” Greene said. “That happens every day. But it’s very
unusual for the secretary to come personally to Philadelphia, to
personally visit the site, and to draw a conclusion without ever having
a dialogue with us.”
Jackson followed up with a call to Street. According to PHA’s lawsuit,
Jackson directed Street to convey to Universal the two parcels of land
for the houses.
Greene said no.
I recommend reading the whole article for the details on what went on with the contract between Universal and the PHA.
Fast forward: Gamble’s friend Jackson visits the sites, HUD money gets
pulled from PHA, and more than anything, poor people get screwed out of
affordable housing. It’s all chronicled quite well inthis story, but bear in mind before reading: You may never hear “Back Stabbers” in quite the same way again.
And Bonus Gamble/Huff: For the Love of Money…