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Register of the Records of the



12 ft.

MSS 116


Gail E. Farr

May 1994

Processing and cataloguing of this collection were supported in part by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


The Hispanic Federation for Social and Economic Development was a nonprofit organization serving Puerto Ricans and Latinos in Philadelphia.  Established in 1981, the organization mirrored the goals of its founder, the attorney, Luis P. Diaz, who perceived the need for an agency which could act as a middleman between the city's dominantly non-Hispanic banks, corporations, public agencies, and planning officials, on the one hand, and Philadelphia's growing--but socially and economically disadvantaged-- population of Spanish-speaking inhabitants on the other.  Working under the aegis of a "technical services provider" funded by public and private grants, the Federation helped make resources and services available to a network of organizational members and affiliate groups made up of community-based organizations in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods.  The effort foundered when the Federation went bankrupt in 1985.  But in the intervening years, the staff explored a variety of approaches for conducting community-development efforts among the Spanish-speaking in Philadelphia, particularly in housing and social services.

This brief account discusses the founding of the Federation, its organizational makeup, goals, objectives, and activities.  A description of the Balch Institute's holdings of Federation records follows.

Founding the Federation:  The Hispanic Federation grew out of Luis Diaz's experiences as a community activist in Philadelphia in the mid-1970s.  Upon graduation from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1976, Diaz became associated with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia where he established the Latino Projecta public advocacy organization which provided legal representation to Spanish-speaking groups and interests in the Delaware Valley.  Diaz served as executive director for the Latino Project from 1976-81, during which time the Project detached from Public Interest Law Center and became an independent non-profit association which brought litigation in discrimination cases, including a prolonged case called Alvarez v. City of Philadelphia involving the under-representation of Hispanics in the police department.

One of the persistent difficulties Latino Project staff faced in seeking settlements was the lack of adequate data on the size of the city's Spanish-speaking population.  Hispanics claimed that census figures were unreliable because they failed to reflect the migration of Puerto Ricans back and forth from the island, resulting in an undercount of as much as 50 percent.  In 1979 Diaz joined with other community leaders in forming the Hispanics for an Accurate Survey Coalition (HASC) to pressure officials to adapt datagathering techniques that would more accurately reflect the Hispanic presence in the city.  (See records of the Latino Project and companion register, Balch Institute Library).

Through his work with the Coalition, Diaz became more widely aware of community development approaches to the problems of urban minorities and began to focus more specifically on ways of enhancing the socio-economic status of Hispanics through the creation of jobs and housing.  A grant from the Ford Foundation in 1981 enabled Diaz to travel throughout the country to familiarize himself with Hispanic models of economic and community development so he could implement such strategies in Philadelphia.  His findings provided the framework for a new organization whose purpose was to organize and implement comprehensive social and economic development programs in Philadelphia.  By early 1981, Diaz had shifted most of his attention to forming the Hispanic Federation for Social and Economic Development.  Diaz became executive director of the Federation, and several of his colleagues from the Latino Project including Larry R. Rivera-Gonzalez and Julio Barreto, Jr., formed the nucleus of its staff.

The Hispanic Federation aimed at several objectives.  First, the founders saw economic self-development as the key to the future for Philadelphia's Hispanics.  Diaz underscored the distinction between this and civil-rights approaches in a 1981 brochure, noting, "Whereas the Latino Project has successfully used litigation to force open economic and social doors for Spanish-speaking Philadelphians, the Federation has a central development thrust designed to make the Hispanic community more self-sufficient and competitive."  ["Introduction to Hispanic Federation," 1981].

Second, the Federation aimed at "illnesses of grassroots organizations."  Interestingly enough, the city already boasted a number of community-based organizations which had come together in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods in Philadelphia to work on behalf of neighborhood improvement.  But these groups tended to be small and poorly funded.  Diaz proposed to create a city-wide organization governed by a board of directors drawn from professional, voluntary, and corporate backgrounds.  To overcome the isolation of groups operating in their own individual neighborhoods, Diaz devised an organizational structure consisting of member and affiliate groups which "as an aggregate composes a significant network of human service providers and community based organizations addressing human services needs of the Hispanic community."

The guiding principle behind these plans was self-help.  Diaz envisioned an organization that would enhance the capabilities of Puerto Ricans and Latinos to obtain and use resources to create better employment opportunities for themselves and make more effective use of existing institutions to secure basic services such as housing, social, and health services.  The concept of a federation was a key part of Diaz's plan which saw the Hispanic Federation as the focus of a single coordinated strategy for linking independent but allied community groups serving Spanish-speaking constituents.  Federation literature stressed the cost-effectiveness of this approach, citing "pending shifts in public funding" under a newly-elected federal administration and a "compelling need to make the most efficient possible use of scarce public, corporate, and philanthropic resources" as incentives for Latinos to support the Federation.  A number of Latino organizations had joined the Federation by the end of 1981.

Activities of the Federation:  The Federation sought to accomplish its goals by planning and developing Hispanic institutions to fulfill social service needs; by supplying technical assistance to existing communitybased organizations; by planning and developing business ventures and coventures, the profits of which would be applied to further the community's overall development; by directing business development and ownership through a forprofit corporation whose single purpose would be to purchase and develop businesses within the community; and by supplying its associated agencies with a forum to discuss and address community issues.

Seed money flowed in from a variety of sources to support this agenda in its first year.  Most of the initial funding came from private sources including foundations such as the Ford Foundation, as noted; the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation; the Samuel Fels Fund, the ARCO Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania; as well as corporations such as the Bell Telephone Company, SmithKline Corporation, and the Girard Bank.

Economic Development Program:  Originally the Federation wanted to become a vehicle for channeling public and private development funds into Latino areas to start small manufacturing centers.  Diaz hoped to create a holding company whose purpose would be to acquire small industries in order to maximize the leverage of Hispanics in obtaining favorable financing.  These plans did not reach fruition despite the Federation's efforts to elicit help from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Philadelphia.  In 1981-82 LISC turned down a low-interest investment request to aid Precisco Corporation, a for-profit company owned by the Latino Project on behalf of the Hispanic Federation.  LISC-Philadelphia provided approximately $8,000 in two separate actions to help the Federation evaluate the viability of acquiring Burline Products, an existing forprofit machine company, but the results of the studies showed that it would be difficult for the business to operate profitably.  The Federation then resolved to lease space and equipment to operate a "minority machine shop" called Industria P.Q.T. at Second and Tioga streets in the American Street Corridor in order to demonstrate that a community development corporation could successfully operate a viable manufacturing company that would provide job training opportunities for unemployed community residents.  The Federation sought financing from the Philadelphia Citywide Development Corporation for this project which was not completed.  In 1981-82, the Hispanic Federation was invited to participate in plans for redeveloping the Schuylkill Falls area of Philadelphia.

Housing Initiative Program:  In September 1981, the Federation entered into an agreement with the City of Philadelphia, through the Office of Housing and Community Development, Technical Services program, to assist the Hispanic community in developing capabilities to systematically design and implement a comprehensive housing production program.  Essentially, the purpose of the contract was to ensure that Hispanics received a fair share percentage of funds from the city's Loan and Grants Program and would have access to other city-run programs such as the Major Systems Rehabilitation program which financed organizations interested in acquiring and renovating vacant housing.  The Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement, a nonprofit United Way Agency, agreed to assist the Federation in this venture by providing specialized technical assistance to community-based non-profit developers of low to moderate-income housing including the Federation's own member and affiliate groups.  With PCCA's assistance, the Federation provided the following services: organizational development, development and planning assistance in site selection and strategy planning for acquisition, new construction or rehabilitation of these sites; assistance in proposal writing; selection of a development team; packaging applications for permanent construction financing; coordinating the activities of the architect, builder and consultant during the construction phase; developing a comprehensive sales program for marketing sales units or rental projects to low and moderate income Hispanic families; as well as providing prepurchase, tenant, financial and delinquency and default counseling to individuals who occupied such units.  The contract continued through 31 December 1982, and was then renewed.

The work was carried out by the Federation's Housing Initiative Program (H.I.P.) established in 1981.  In 198182 H.I.P. staff Larry R. Rivera  Gonzalez, Julio Barreto, and Nitza Santiago provided technical services to nine community organizations, packaged 34 housing units, distributed funds, and helped organizations apply for grants.  Additionally, the Federation helped obtain monies for 10 units for Major Systems Rehabilitation and 24 units of Basic Systems Repair for a Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia project valued at $307,500.  The H.I.P. officers also provided technical services to the Borinquen Federal Credit Union to maximize the effectiveness of a $81,000 revolving home improvement loan fund geared to low and moderate-income Hispanics.  The H.I.P.sponsored ARCO Storm Window project resulted in 87 units being weatherized and affected 350 individuals.

Human Services Program:  Early in 1981, the Hispanic Family Advocacy Network, Inc., approached the Federation seeking aid in addressing the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate services for Spanish-speaking children and their families.  The Federation had incorporated this issue into its human services agenda which called for the establishment of a "Puerto Rican Family Institute."  As a result of successful discussions with the City of Philadelphia's Department of Public Welfare, the Federation was able to co-venture with Episcopal Community Service's Center for Human Services which resulted in a Hispanic S.C.O.H. initiative ("Services to Children in Their Own Homes").  The agreement marked the first time that "Services to Children in Their Own Homes" was earmarked for Hispanic citizens.  The Federation subsequently negotiated a purchase of service contract with the City of Philadelphia's Department of Public Welfare, Children and Youth Agency, to expand services for Hispanic children and their families.

Begun in mid-1982, the Federation's SCOH program offered casework services, life skills, information, referrals and advocacy assistance to approximately 50 families who were seen on an average of two times weekly during the first project year.  The program served 22 census tracts in upper and lower North Philadelphia which were designated as a poverty area.  The program was staffed by several employees including Veronica Melgar and Trudy Persky.

Demise of the Federation:  The Hispanic Federation ceased operations because of financial difficulties.  Luis Diaz resigned as executive director of the Federation in March 1984.  The board selected Louis E. Pasamanick to replace him.  Pasamanick had been involved in some other economic development programs in the North Fifth Street area including the Spanish Merchants Association's Somerset Industrial Center.  Pasamanick spent his term closing out bills and contracts.  The last piece of executive correspondence in this collection is a letter from the Ford Foundation dated April 1985 requesting him to submit a final report on the Federation's original 1981 grant so Ford staff could close their file on the organization.  The Federation dissolved in 1985.


The records of the Latino Project were found among records accessioned from the Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia in 1988.  They were formally donated to the Balch Institute through a deed of gift by Luis P. Diaz, Esq., in 1993.


A portion of this collection containing personnel records has been closed to research use to protect the privacy of individuals.  For further information about materials marked "Restricted" in the container list below, please consult the Balch staff archivist.  (Note to Staff: See Donor File).


This collection documents efforts of the Hispanic Federation for Social and Economic Development to establish and coordinate an economic development program for Puerto Ricans and Latinos in the Greater Delaware Valley from 1981 to 1985.  The collection is particularly rich in information detailing the evolution of housing and community development programs involving Philadelphia-area Hispanics in these years.  Included are correspondence, grant applications, reports, memoranda, financial records, and newsclips; project files for the Housing Initiative Program and the Human Services Program; maps and other data collected by Federation staff during a 1982 Vacant Properties Survey of approximately a dozen census tracts in North Philadelphia with large minority populations including Puerto Ricans and Latinos; and materials pertaining to affiliated community-based organizations providing services to the Spanish-speaking.  Also included are printed items such as City of Philadelphia planning studies from the 1970s which the Federation staff collected in their work.


The following paragraphs describe the scope and content of the collection at the series level.

Series 1:  Administrative Records.  1973-1985  (Boxes 1-13):

Boxes 1-2 contain general information about the Hispanic Federation.  A small quantity of Luis Diaz's correspondence from his work as executive director is found here.  Box 2 contains grant proposals and requests for funding guidelines.

Box 3 contains materials from a course on community economic development offered by the Academy for Economic Development, Philadelphia, around 1980.  The course was designed by the Institute for the Study of Community Economic Development.

General Administrative Files (Alphabetical).  1981-85  (Boxes 4-7):  These containers are made up largely of files on the Federation's member community-based organizations, the Federation's affiliates, and organizations which co-ventured with the Federation in low-income housing and community development projects.  The files include correspondence, proposals, reports, proceedings of public hearings and meetings involving the City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development office staff and Federation officials.  Additionally, informative files on social services can be found here.  The files are arranged topically by name of organization and chronologically thereunder.  Of special note are the files concerning the Federation's member organizations, as described below:

Borinquen Federal Credit Union (13 folders, 1982-83):  This material pertains largely to the work of the Hispanic Federation in helping the Borinquen Federal Credit Union obtain funding from the City of Philadelphia, Office of Housing and Community Development, to create a permanent revolving loan fund to serve low-income persons seeking small loans to do home repairs.  The first Latino savings and loan bank in Philadelphia (established 1974), the BFCU was designed to assist residents which non-Hispanic commercial institutions would not service (i.e., redlined) because they perceived the low-income Hispanic community to be un-bankable.  The files include correspondence, contracts, notes, and drafts and artwork for the Home Improvement Loan Program Operational Manual which BFCU distributed to program clients.

Centro Pedro Claver (6 folders, 1983-84):  These materials detail the Federation's role in providing technical assistance to Centro Pedro Claver, a community-based organization formed in 1979 for the purpose of improving housing and social services for Latinos in North Central Philadelphia.  The Federation helped the center obtain funds from the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation to rehabilitate three abandoned houses to create a 6-unit Cooperative Housing Project for low and moderate-income Latino families in the 3300 block of North Fifth Street.  The files contain correspondence, notes, contractors' estimates, and specifications of repairs, floor plans, and area maps including plans drawn up by Gray Smith's Office, architect for the project.  The files also include general information about Centro Pedro Claver and its other housing ventures, including its Shared Housing Project, the purpose of which was to rehabilitate properties made available through Homestart/Gift Property Program of the City of Philadelphia, to house Spanish-speaking elderly who had been living alone.

Coalition for Hispanic Advancement (6 folders, 1981-85):  These materials pertain to the Federation's role in providing technical support to this CBO which was established by residents of the Latino corridor in North Central Philadelphia in 1981 to combat the deterioration of the neighborhood.  Of special note are approximately 200 pieces of correspondence between CHA president Marcy Diaz and Federation technical assistance provider Nitza Santiago concerning the Federation's work in helping CHS obtain grants to support various projects.  These included efforts to rehabilitate the CHA office and vacant housing in the area; a proposal to the Pennsylvania Urban Garden Program to develop community gardens; and a 1984 project to seek funds from the City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development to rehabilitate a vacant building in the 300 block of W. Berks Street to provide housing for the homeless and emergency shelter.  The files also include exchanges between Ms. Santiago and Rev. Msgr. Charles Devlin, Chairman of the Campaign for Human Development, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office for Urban Ministry, concerning a grant request; officials of the OHCD Gift Property program; Community Legal Services of Philadelphia regarding the closure of a CLS office at Seventh and Girard avenues in North Philadelphia; Raymond M. Tate, Commissioner of the City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, concerning vacant buildings in the area; and Philadelphia Green Community Vegetable Gardens program.  Additionally, the folders contain general information on efforts which CHA brought to bear on city officials to improve conditions in the area by cleaning out sewers in the neighborhood; demolishing deteriorated vacant properties; cleaning and sealing vacant units; and transferring title to those that were salvageable to CHA for rehabilitation for low and moderate-income housing (the files contain applications for vacant properties).  References to CHA participation in a University of Pennsylvaniabased study of the area, called "Open Space Choices for Declining Inner City: A Philadelphia Case Study," also appear in the CHA folders.

Neighborhood Improvement Association (4 folders, 1981-83):  Sponsored by St. Bonaventure Parish, this organization was formed in 1980 to address the deterioration of housing conditions in the North Central Philadelphia area bounded by Second Street to Twelfth Street and Lehigh to Allegheny Avenues (Census Tracts 174-176)an area "virtually untouched by current community revitalization efforts."  The association affiliated with the Hispanic Federation in 1981 in order to obtain technical assistance in developing adequate and affordable housing for residents of the area which had a population which was made up of approximately 60 percent Hispanics and 40 percent African Americans and Southeast Asians.  Documentation consists of correspondence from NIA coordinator Wilfredo Santiago; minutes of NIA's "barrio meetings;" a copy of the organization's bylaws; reports on housing in the area which included a large number of vacant structures from before the 1940s, which lacked adequate insulation; and exchanges between the NIA and Federation staff concerning such matters as the packaging of requests for City of Philadelphia gift properties to set up an emergency housing unit; the distribution of ARCO Storm Window Kits; and how to obtain emergency heating systems for use in the neighborhood.  Portions of the NIA material are in Spanish.

Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement (9 folders, 1981-82):  These materials detail the relationship between the Federation and the PCCA, a city-wide non-profit United Way agency which provided a program of professional assistance and guidance to community-based organizations seeking to upgrade, through new construction or rehabilitation, the housing stock in their neighborhoods.

The Hispanic Federation looked to PCCA as its main source of guidance in developing the capabilities of the Federation to plan and implement housing improvement programs in Philadelphia's Latino community both through direct consultation and training.  Early on in its history (spring 1981), the Federation sought a contractual arrangement with the PCCA in which the latter agreed to participate in a joint venture with the Federation to provide specialized technical assistance to community-based non-profit developers of low to moderate-income housing for the Hispanic community of Philadelphia.  PCCA also agreed to host an intern training program which would enable Federation staff to work directly with PCCA to get training in various aspects of housing production including proposal preparation, physical planning and design, development packaging, negotiation of construction financing, and construction management.

The folders contain materials relating to arrangements between the Hispanic Federation and PCCA for PCCA to provide technical assistance and training.  The files contain correspondence which illuminate housing policies and practices in Philadelphia in the early 1980s.  Correspondents include PCCA executive director Jeffrey A. Cruse; PCCA packager Melvin H. Porter; City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development director Gregory L. Coleman; OHCD Technical Services program director Eloise K. Edmonds; and Federation staff Larry R. Rivera-Gonzalez and Julio Barreto.  The files shed light on the impact of federal funding cutbacks on new construction programs in the city in 1981.

Additionally, the files include memoranda from Hispanic Federation employee Nitza Santiago reporting on her activities during her internship with PCCA in 1982, in which she discusses such matters as procedures for identifying vacant properties for rehabilitation and how to acquire them for rehabilitation by the Hispanic Federation's member organizations.  Some of these items pertain to the packaging of a Major Systems Rehabilitation program proposal for the Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia.  Also included are copies of sample contracts, loan agreements, and budgets pertaining to developments sponsored by various PCCA clients such as Citizens of Tioga/Nicetown, Inc., Haverford North Civic Association, and South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S.  General information about PCCA is also found here including copies of its by-laws, budget statements, and information about its work with housing developments.  Finally, the PCCA material includes brochures on workshops sponsored by various Delaware Valley groups dealing with the impact of the New Federalism on lowincome housing development in the city in 1982.

Tool Library (2 folders, 1981-83):  The Tool Library was a project of El Camino Ltd. (The One Way Foundation), a Puerto Rican organization formed in the 1970s and dedicated to the pursuit of better housing for low-income persons.  The Hispanic Federation assisted the group in establishing its Tool Library which offered support for housing rehabilitation work including free or low-cost rental tools and on-site assistance to homeowners between Lehigh and Allegheny Avenues, Front Street, and Germantown Avenue.  The folders contain correspondence with El Camino president Ivan Robles and Tool Library director Guillermo Martinez concerning the Federation's role in securing funds for the Tool Library including the preparation of a grant application submitted to the Campaign for Human Development in 1982.  The folders also include Tool Library applicant registration forms.  Additionally, the folders contain background information about El Camino Ltd. and other El Camino projects such as the organization's plans to rehabilitate property in the 2700 block of North Fourth Street donated to the organization by the United Construction Workers of Philadelphia; El Camino's Lead Testing and Removing Team (which helped owners test and remove lead containing paint from their homes); and the annual El Camino Ltd.  Bike-a-thon fundraising event (it was the only bicycling marathon coordinated by the Puerto Rican community in Philadelphia).

In addition to the bodies of materials on member and affiliate organizations listed above, Boxes 3-7 include folders on the following agencies and associations: Casa del Carmen; Community Services Planning Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania; Housing Association of Delaware Valley; Industria P.Q.T.; Institute for the Study of Civic Values (Philadelphia); Kingsway; National Hispanic Housing Coalition; National Housing Law Project; Neighborhood Economic Opportunity Program; Philadelphia Allied Action Commission; Philadelphia Rehabilitation Plan (PRP, Inc.); Philadelphia Task Force for Cooperative Housing; Precisco Corporation; Puerto Rican Alliance; Schuylkill Falls Housing Project; Utility Emergency Services Fund; and the York Street Senior Citizens Center.

Boxes 8-10: Telephone logs, 1981-82:  provide a record of incoming calls to the Federation during its first two years.  Included are names and brief messages, some transcribed in Spanish, from Latino community leaders in Philadelphia; officers of community-based organizations; legal staff of the Latino Project; foundation officials; ACTION (VISTA) personnel; city housing officials; newspaper editors, and national Latino organizations.  Of special note is Professor Theodore Hershberg's telephone message of 7 January 1981, to inform Diaz that "They [the University of Pennsylvania-based Philadelphia Social History Project, of which Hershberg was the director] received a major grant (research-related) & he wants to meet you & receive your input."

Box 11:  Personnel Records for the Hispanic Federation are restricted for use at this time.

Boxes 12-13: Financial Records (1981-85):  contain financial reports and statements of the Federation as well as files on its various business accounts.

Series 2:  Housing Initiative Program Records, 1979-85  (Boxes 14-20):  The first two cartons in this series (Boxes 14-16) contain general information about the Housing Initiative Program (HIP) and its Planning and Implementation Committee.  Included are mission statements, program objectives, minutes and summaries of staff meetings, minutes of meetings between staff members and officers of member organizations who used the Federation's technical assistance services, correspondence, memoranda, staff activity reports, directories of minority contractors, mailing lists, grant applications, reports, and budgets dealing with housing development and rehabilitation projects with which the Federation was involved.  Of special note to those interested in housing and policy planning are runs of interoffice memoranda between Hispanic Federation executive director Luis Diaz, housing director Larry R. RiveraGonzalez, planner/researcher Julio Barreto, Jr., and housing packager Nitza Santiago (1981-82) which shed light on the goals, strategies, and daytoday activities of the housing staff.  Also included are files of exchanges with various agencies such as the City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, and Gray Smith's Office which conducted a Hispanic Housing Study in 1981-82.  Drafts of the resulting "Hispanic Housing Needs Assessment Survey" and findings are found in Box 16.

Boxes 17-18 contain the files of the Vacant Properties Survey conducted by the HIP staff in North Philadelphia in 1981-82.  The population of the area surveyed was made up mainly of Latinos, Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and Asians, but was predominantly Spanish-speaking.  The area also contained numerous vacant and deteriorated structures.

The materials document many phases of the project and contain information on Philadelphia census tracts 141-146, 154-57, 162-166, 174-176, 194-200, 203, 284, and 287, with more detailed information on tracts 162, 163, 164, 174, and 175.  Among the materials included are vacant property lists for these areas issued by the City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspection; correspondence and other matter dealing with the recruitment and training of youth from the Hartranft Community Center through the City of Philadelphia Mayor's Summer Youth Employment and Training Program to work as field surveyors on the project in the summer of 1982; and notes and memoranda by project supervisor Julio Barreto concerning the methodology and implementation of the survey.

Survey findings are filed in Box 18.  The results of the study were tabulated on a series of 36 small detail maps.  Information on these maps has been colorcoded to distinguish between occupied and vacant properties and to identify multifamily, commercial, and industrial institutions.  See the container list which follows for a list of the maps compiled by the survey.

Box 19 contains information concerning the Federation's role in housing rehabilitation projects undertaken by the Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia, 1981-83.  Folder 1 includes general correspondence between Federation staff, Spanish Merchants Association director Gualberto Medina, and SMA president Carlos Morales which mentions a number of prospective economic development projects, 1981-82.  These included a food warehouse and a Philadelphia/Wilmington Business Development Center.  (SMA wanted to develop a proposal to the U.S. Minority Business Development Administration to obtain funding for the Business Development Center).  The exchanges also reveal perceptions of the Federation in the city's Latino community.  For example, Medina's letter of 27 May 1981, expressed concerns about the relationship between the Hispanic Federation and the Latino Project and whether the Hispanic Federation was actually "structured so as to reflect parity among the participating organizations."

HIP's involvement with the Spanish Merchants Association centered mainly on the Major Systems Rehabilitation and Basic Systems Repair programs sponsored by the City of Philadelphia's Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD).  The files contain exchanges between Larry R. Rivera-Gonzalez and Nitza Santiago of the HIP staff and Carlos R. Rodriguez, an architect who coordinated the rehabilitation of the properties for the SMA.  The materials document the work of the project staff in formulating the proposals for MSR and BSR, negotiating with the city to obtain vacant properties, and how the two organizations managed this joint undertaking.

Box 20 (Oversize):  Contains several printed maps issued by the City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development.  These illustrate and provide background information on the Community Development Block Grant Program in Philadelphia (1978) and Neighborhood Strategy Areas of communities of East North Philadelphia (1981).

Series 3:  Human Services Program Records.  1982-84 (Box 21):  The records related to the Federation's Human Services Program are sparse.  They consist primarily of administrative records such as the SCOH service provider contract between the Federation and the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Welfare, reports, and financial information.  One item of special interest is the report of the Hispanic Federation and the Philadelphia County Children and Youth Agency Task Force on the Hispanic Family, June 1983.  This typewritten manuscript, entitled "The Underserved: Hispanic Children and Their Families: Analysis of Philadelphia County Children and Youth Agency Provision of Services to Hispanics," is about 100 pages in length.  The investigators argued that "PCCYA administrators and staff indicated that they have virtually no meaningful internal capacity to serve Hispanic clients."  The study was based on questionnaires distributed to PCCYA personnel, Hispanic agencies, and private SCOH providers, and discussed how this county agency managed cases involving Spanish-speaking children who were being referred to social service offices in the area at that time.


Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations of Philadelphia (EI Concilio) Records, 1955-1990.  MSS 120, Balch Institute Library.

Latino Project Records, 1962-1985.  MSS 117, Balch Institute Library.

Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia Records, 1977-1988.  MSS 114, Balch Institute Library.

The box list of the register of the records of the Hispanic Federation for Social and Economic Development is thirty-one pages long.