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When Jack Dougherty’s daughter underwent treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for nine months in 2007, his family “faced tremendous challenges” finding a place to stay.

While he and his family, who are from Charlottesville, Va., were able to stay in the Ronald McDonald House on 39th and Chestnut streets, not all families are as lucky.

Affordable extended-stay housing in the Philadelphia area remains scarce — and while the proposed hotel on 40th and Pine streets would help alleviate these problems, the status of that project is unclear.

The Ronald McDonald House provides a housing option for families of children undergoing active treatment at area hospitals. Rooms there, however, are extremely limited.

“Additional [housing] resources for families are probably needed,” said University City Ronald McDonald House Manager Doug Metcalfe.

According to Metcalfe, the house runs at nearly a 95-percent occupancy rate. Last year, 880 families were turned away from the house due to unavailability of rooms, Metcalfe said.

This figure does not include the families who don’t qualify to stay at the house, he added, such as families of adults undergoing treatment.

Though the house partners with local hotels and area organizations, such as Hosts for Hospitals, to provide housing for turn-aways, the system is overburdened.

Because the area hospitals attract patients from around the world, demand for extended-stay housing is high.

Dougherty noted that in addition to waiting lists at the area Ronald McDonald Houses, the Inn at Penn and Penn Tower hotels were frequently booked up as well.

He said he thinks most cities are able to find a way to create housing for families in similar situations.

“I hope that Philadelphia has the imagination to make that happen as well,” he said.

The Campus Inn, which would be developed on Penn-owned property and would provide another source of extended-stay housing, was met with resistance from area residents last spring, when they appealed to the city government to preserve the historic nature of the neighborhood.

According to executive director of real estate Ed Datz, the University’s goal is to redevelop the “unique” property because it sits between a commercial center and a transportation hub.

However, the University is using a private developer for the property.

“We believe leasing property to private developers can yield plans that are creative, befitting the local character, and drive economic activity,” Datz wrote in an e-mail.

A spokesperson from the Campus Inn declined to comment on the current status of the project.

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