Affordable housing is key to the stability of our residents and communities, and is linked to better outcomes across a wide range of important issues facing Philadelphians including healthcare, education, and economic development. City government has an obligation to uphold safe and sanitary housing standards for Philadelphians from all walks of life. From lobbying for increased Federal and state funding to incentivizing affordable housing development and preservation, City Council can wield a great deal of power in establishing a robust housing market with a range of affordable choices for households of any income. As one of America’s big cities, Philadelphia faces many of the same opportunities as its peer cities experiencing explosive growth in the housing market. However, our aging housing stock and long-standing high poverty rate, along with historical inequities produced by redlining, Federally-subsidized suburbanization, and the subprime mortgage crisis, create several unique challenges for the city’s most vulnerable populations. Despite an overall growth in new housing units, Philadelphia has lost 13,000 low-cost units (with monthly rent below $800) between 2008 and 2016.
● Expand funding for Philadelphia’s Housing Trust Fund, a flexible program that supports a variety of activities that preserve and create new affordable housing opportunities including unit development, financial counseling, and services for those experiencing homelessness.
● Continue to reform our zoning code to promote affordability through density requirements and inclusionary zoning practices (e.g. “tiny” homes, single-room-occupancy units, “in-law flats”, etc.)
● Incentivize new and innovative means of construction - projects that bring jobs to the city, help grow our communities responsibly, and result in increasing pipelines to property ownership, lowering rates of homelessness, and builds wealth for more of our people who live here.
● Work with our state and federal delegations to advocate for increased funding for affordable housing preservation and construction, including increased funding for the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) - the state housing trust fund - and a State Housing Tax Credit.