Broke in Philly: Expanding Affordable Housing Rights to Be Introduced by City Council

Three bills to enhance affordable housing rights were released in conjunction with a new report on poverty in Philadelphia.

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NurPhoto via Getty Images

Legislation to enhance protections and rights to affordable housing for low-income Philadelphians is being proposed in City Council.

Three proposed bills would establish three new elements of affordable housing in the city: 

  • a low-income tenant legal defense fund
  • "fair chance" housing protections for residents returning to life after serving time in prison
  • requirements for certain Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority "dispositions," which are sales or leases of city-owned properties

A report commissioned, but independent of, City Council that looks at "strategies to alleviate and prevent poverty in Philadelphia" was also released Tuesday in conjunction with the proposed affordable housing measures.

The Obesity Gap

Source: CDC, Census Bureau
Credit: Sam Hart/NBC

Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez are sponsoring the bills and released the report at a press conference at City Hall.

Sánchez represents the Seventh District, which has a 41.6% poverty rate, the highest in the city, according to the newly released report.

"Philadelphia City government should not support any private development that might contribute to raised rents and home prices without getting something in return for underserved communities," Sánchez said. "I am excited to use this research to inform new legislation and policies to reduce our poverty rate."

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The bills will be introduced at the next Council meeting, Thursday, March 7. 

Here is a summary of the poverty report (The full report is here):

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