Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the problem?
  • Rapid redevelopment is afoot in Philadelphia, gentrifying many neighborhoods; the stability and diversity of communities are under threat.
  • In 2013, developers received building permits for more than 2,800 units of housing, more than any year in the previous decade. This means the housing market in our city is changing significantly.
  • New developments are uprooting beloved green spaces that have transformed blight into centers of community and sources of nutrition and health.
  1. What is gentrification?

The transformation of low-income and working class neighborhoods, driving up housing and other real estate prices and causing the displacement of long-term residents, businesses, and institutions.

 

  1. What’s the cost of gentrification to Philadelphians?

Rising housing costs in gentrifying neighborhoods exact real costs in the lives of Philadelphia families.

More than 240,000 households citywide (40% of all households) are forced to spend 30% or more of their income on housing.

Long-term residents are forced to move away from jobs and social networks. Neighborhood-serving businesses are forced to close as commercial rents increase, leaving many residents without access to basic services and local living-wage jobs.

Community gardens and farms that have been sources of affordable nutrition and places where people gather are up-rooted.

 

  1. Where is the cost of housing out of control?
  • West Philadelphia’s median sale price increased 98%, at nearly twice the citywide rate
  • South Philadelphia’s median sale price increased 184%, more than three times the citywide rate
  • North Philadelphia’s median sale price increased 200%, nearly four times the citywide rate

In these neighborhoods, rising housing costs coupled with stagnant or declining household incomes are straining low-income families’ ability to stay in their homes.

 

  1. Where is gentrification happening the most?

In North, South, and West Philadelphia:

  • 50% of renter households are “housing cost-burdened,” paying more than they can afford for their rent.
  • And, over 30% of homeowners are also spending too much of their income on housing.
  • In North, South, and West Philadelphia, the African American population has dropped 22-29% since 2000.

Displacement due to rising housing costs is threatening the diversity of our neighborhoods.

 

  1. What needs to be done?

We need resources to build affordable housing and help long-term residents stay in their homes.

As a first step, City Council must pass legislation that requires developers to pay a construction impact tax.

By charging a few dollars per square foot of new construction we could generate $14 million for the Housing Trust Fund EVERY YEAR

 

  1. What would the Construction Impact Tax legislation create with $14 additional dollars per year?
  • 280 units of newly constructed affordable rental apartments
  • 437 existing homeowners seeking critical improvements through the Basic Systems Repair Program
  • 105 home rehabilitations through the Adaptive Modifications Program
  • 318 households facing homelessness receiving utility and mortgage assistance
  • 70 grants for capital improvements and infrastructure in community gardens

 

  1. Who’s leading the Development without Displacement campaign?

The Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities (PCAC) is a coalition of  59 community, disability, faith, labor, and urban agriculture organizations that have joined together to pass a series of laws that will expand and protect affordable, accessible housing and green space in neighborhoods undergoing gentrification.

LATEST NEWS

Join the Phila. Coalition for Affordable Communities for a film screening and interactive workshop to learn about the Civil Rights roots of the Community Land Trust movement and about what is happening to build this movement in Philadelphia.

We will be at Liberty Resources (112 N. 8th St.) on the 2nd Floor in the Wade Blank Room.




* About the film: Arc of Justice traces the remarkable journey of New Communities, Inc. (NCI) in southwest Georgia, a story of racial justice, community organizing, and perseverance in the face of enormous obstacles.

NCI was created in 1969 in Albany, Georgia by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including Congressman John Lewis, and Charles and Shirley Sherrod, to help secure economic independence for African American families. For 15 years, NCI cooperatively farmed nearly 6,000 acres, the largest tract of land in the United States owned by African Americans at the time, but racist opposition prevented them from implementing plans to build 500 affordable homes as part of their community land trust. You can learn more at: www.arcofjusticefilm.com
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The Civil Rights Roots of Community Land Trusts

June 28, 2017, 6:00pm - June 28, 2017, 7:00pm

112 N 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107-2422, United States

Join the Phila. Coalition for Affordable Communities for a film screening and interactive workshop to learn about the Civil Rights roots of the Community Land Trust movement and about what is happening to build this movement in Philadelphia. We will be at Liberty Resources (112 N. 8th St.) on the 2nd Floor in the Wade Blank Room. * About the film: Arc of Justice traces the remarkable journey of New Communities, Inc. (NCI) in southwest Georgia, a story of racial justice, community organizing, and perseverance in the face of enormous obstacles. NCI was created in 1969 in Albany, Georgia by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including Congressman John Lewis, and Charles and Shirley Sherrod, to help secure economic independence for African American families. For 15 years, NCI cooperatively farmed nearly 6,000 acres, the largest tract of land in the United States owned by African Americans at the time, but racist opposition prevented them from implementing plans to build 500 affordable homes as part of their community land trust. You can learn more at: www.arcofjusticefilm.com

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Tomorrow night! Join the PHL Assembled Reconstructions team for a house raising ceremony and celebration at the "Blueprint for a Just Neighborhood" site. ... See MoreSee Less

Blueprint for a Just Neighborhood / Housewarming Celebration

June 1, 2017, 5:30pm - June 1, 2017, 8:00pm

Blueprint for a Just Neighborhood

Join us for a house-raising ceremony and housewarming celebration as we put the finishing touches on the framework for an affordable house at the “Blueprint for a Just Neighborhood” site at Tillmon Community Garden in Olde/South Kensington. The evening will feature the performance of "Neighbors?" a Philadelphia scene grappling with gentrification and displacement, scripted by playwright Mona Washington and performed by Tony Kamani and Asaki Kuruma. This site is realized in collaboration with affordable housing advocates including Women's Community Revitalization Project, Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities, Healthy Rowhouse Project, and Tillmon Garden. The program includes contributions from featured artists and collaborators Lisa Adjei, Betty Leacraft, Brujo de la Mancha, Staci Moore, Tieshka K Smith, Denise Valentine, and Mona R. Washington.

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