100 signatures reached
To: Philadelphia City Council
PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL: PUT MORE MONEY IN THE HOUSING TRUST FUND
We call on City Council to prioritize affordable, accessible housing and green space by passing legislation that will increase resources to our city’s Housing Trust Fund. In addition, we urge Council to make sure ANY legislative proposals address the needs of ALL Philadelphians, homeowners as well as renters.
Why is this important?
After years of population decline, Philadelphia is once again becoming a more desirable place to live. There is increased development in many neighborhoods which results in rising property values and cost of living. While this development can improve our neighborhoods, these changes have already forced too many people out of their communities. City Council needs to introduce legislation that will grow the resources our city needs for affordable, accessible housing and green space so both renters and homeowners can stay in the neighborhoods we call home.
As the housing market rebounds the effects of gentrification are displacing long-term residents. There is increased development in many neighborhoods which results in rising property values and cost of living.
The overwhelming majority (77%) of new market rate housing built in the past six years is located in portions of North Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, and West Philadelphia. In these neighborhoods, rising housing costs coupled with stagnant or declining household incomes are straining low-income families’ ability to stay in their homes.
The cost for Philadelphia’s families in these gentrifying neighborhoods is real. In North, South and West Philadelphia: 50% of renter households are “housing cost burdened” paying more than they can afford on rent; over 30% of homeowners are also spending too much of their income on housing.
Displacement due to rising housing costs is also threatening the diversity of our neighborhoods. In North, South and West Philadelphia, the African American population has dropped 22-29% since 2000. 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, sources of affordable nutrition and places where people gather have also been uprooted.
City government must take action to curb the displacement that is destabilizing our communities. This requires adopting public policy that encourages equitable development for homeowners and renters.