Report Quantifies Displacement and Rising Housing Costs in Philadelphia

James Brasuell, Planetizen, April 15, 2015

A policy report from the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities made news for recommending policies to disincentive, with taxes, real estate speculation. The report also includes raw data on the transformation happening around the city.

“Last week, the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities (PCAC) released a policy report that contained some startling figures about displacement caused by gentrification in Philadelphia,” reports Max Marin.

Noting that previous media coverage of the report by Plan Philly and the Philadelphia Daily News focused on the policy recommendations included in the report–namely that the city should enact a new “anti-speculation tax” to tax house flippers–Marin instead focuses on the data findings in the report that inspired the policy recommendation.

“Econsult helped conduct the research report, titled ‘Development without Displacement: Keeping Communities Strong,’ [pdf] using census data from 2000 to 2012. To our knowledge, it’s the first report of its kind that looks at factors and conditions of Philadelphia’s changing demographics over such a long period. It even offers a first-time estimate as to how many are being displaced from their homes, community spaces, businesses, and social networks.”

Findings from the 12 years under study include:

  • “the African-American population in gentrifying areas of South and West Philadelphia decreased by 29 percent, and by 22 percent in North Philadelphia.”
  • “‘Housing cost-burdened’ households were at 52 percent in 2012. That’s a citywide increase of 10 percent. The 7th District, which is largely Latino, saw a city-high 20 percent increase in housing-cost burdened households in those years.”
  • “West Philadelphia’s median home sale price increased 98%, twice the city 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.”
Full Story: The hard data on gentrification and displacement in Philly


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