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The Problem

  • Gentrification is forcing long-time low-income residents out of their communities, and the current structure of the Housing Trust Fund does not do enough to protect their homes or low-income development.

  • Rising housing costs combined with stagnant or declining incomes have priced many long-term residents out of their homes, forcing displacement of many communities.

  • In North, South, and West Philadelphia, 50% of renter households are housing-cost burdened, meaning they pay more for rent than they can afford.

  • Many, especially people of color, are pushed out of their neighborhoods.  The African American population in North, South, and West Philadelphia dropped 22-29% from 2000-2015.

  • The Housing Trust Fund is meant to support the development of new affordable homes, repair existing homes, and prevent foreclosure and homelessness.  However, recent changes to the Housing Trust Fund prioritize “affordable” housing, based on the median income of Philadelphia and surrounding counties, while failing to focus on low-income housing specifically.

Solutions

  • Grassroots community organizing that centers the leadership and lived experience of people directly impacted by the housing crisis.

  • Create permanent sources of funding for the Housing Trust Fund:

      • Where at least half of the money is set-aside for low-income households (making 30% of Area Median Income or $26,200/year for a family of 4).

      • So that affordable monthly housing costs are not more than 30% of a person’s income.

      • For new development of affordable, accessible rental housing, home repair, adaptive modifications, and homelessness prevention.

  • Work with directly impacted communities to identify processes that ensure community control of land.

City Council Actions

  • Pass legislation that creates a permanent, dedicated source of funding for the Housing Trust Fund.

  • Ensure that half of the money in the Housing Trust Fund and newly created sub-fund go to households making 30% or less of Area Median Income.

  • Hold the Land Bank accountable to putting land out for the development of community gardens, green space, and low-income, accessible housing.

 

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