People

John Kromer

Former Director of Housing, City of Philadelphia

John Kromer is a housing and development consultant who specializes in strategic planning, public agency capacity building, and program and policy development for urban communities and metropolitan regions.

As the City of Philadelphia’s Director of Housing from 1992 to 2001, Kromer supervised the expenditure of more than a billion dollars in public investment in support of housing preservation and development activities that improved living conditions for thousands of Philadelphia families. As a consultant since that time, he has assisted government, institutional, and nonprofit clients in organizing and implementing reinvestment strategies. Within the past five years, he has been a key participant in the design and implementation of state-authorized economic recovery plans for the cities of Camden, NJ, Reading, PA, and Altoona, PA.

Through consulting assignments with the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, Kromer has developed training materials and conducted information sessions for statewide audiences consisting of government administrators and managers, institutional and business leaders, and nonprofit and civic organization board and staff members, on topics such as the acquisition and reuse of vacant properties, the organization of land bank authorities, and the use of court-ordered conservatorship as a remedy for placing neglected properties under the control of responsible developers.

Recent clients include the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Prince George’s County (MD) Office of Audits and Investigations, Rutgers Camden Center for Urban Research and Education, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Downtown Raleigh (NC) Alliance, the Wyomissing (PA) Foundation, the Center for Community Progress, and others.

Kromer is the author of Fixing Broken Cities: The Implementation of Urban Reinvestment Strategies (Routledge, 2010) and Neighborhood Recovery: Reinvestment Policy for the New Hometown (Rutgers University Press, 2002).

Courses Taught

Instructor: John Kromer
Course Section: 401
On-Campus Day(s): Wednesday
On-Campus Time: 2:00pm-5:00pm
Course Description:

This course offers an exploration of how legislative action, government policymaking, and citizen advocacy influence plans for the investment of public capital in distressed urban neighborhoods. Course topics will include an evaluation of Philadelphia development policies under past and current mayoral administrations, a review of reinvestment proposals for Camden's waterfront and downtown-area neighborhoods, and weekly conversations with local practitioners in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This semester, the class will design a model for a rental assistance fund, to be used to finance affordable housing in changing Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Instructor: John Kromer
Course Section: 401
Day(s): Wednesday
Time: 2:00pm-5:00pm
Course Location: On-Campus
Course Description:

This course offers an exploration of how legislative action, government policymaking, and citizen advocacy influence plans for the investment of public capital in distressed urban neighborhoods. Course topics this semester will include an evaluation of the results of City of Philadelphia development policies under the administration of former Mayor Michael A. Nutter, as well as consideration of plans being undertaken by the administration of Mayor James F. Kenney, who took office in January. The course will also include an assessment of a large-scale property acquisition and development strategy being implemented by the Philadelphia Housing Authority in North Philadelphia and a review of recent and current reinvestment proposals for Camden's waterfront and downtown-area neighborhoods.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu