'Jumpstart Germantown' Aims for the Antidote to Gentrification

A new program based in the Germantown neighborhood in Philadelphia aims to encourage community ownership of urban re-investment.

2 minute read

April 10, 2018, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


SEPTA transit map

sevenMaps7 / Shutterstock

Jill Harkins reports on Jumpstart Germantown, a Philadelphia-based organization that provides training, mentoring, and financial backing to local residents in an "effort to remove blight from and revitalize the Germantown neighborhood without the traditional outcomes of gentrification: the pushing out of long-time residents as a result of skyrocketing housing costs."

"Jumpstart Germantown has graduated 235 people—60 more will graduate in April—and has more than 300 people on its wait list," according to Harkins. In addition to training, the program includes a mentorship program and financial support. Here's how the financial program works:

Participants also have the option of applying for a loan through Jumpstart. Borrowers must put up 15 percent of the project cost, and Jumpstart lends the remaining 85 percent. While the interest rate on the loans is higher than a loan from a traditional bank, no credit check is required for a buy and sell project and loans are approved quickly to allow borrowers to compete with wealthier developers with cash on hand. Jumpstart has closed on 70 loans in the past two and a half years, each ranging from $40,000 to $500,000 and totaling more than $7,000,000. The income generated from the loan half of the program has paid for the training costs, and Weinstein says it has become an essentially break-even operation.

The article provides a lot more details about the goals and methods of the program, as well as insight into some of the program's successes.

Monday, April 2, 2018 in The Philadelphia Citizen

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Ornate, tan stone capitol building with a gold dome roof and low-rise city buildings in the background.

States Are Banning Guaranteed Income Programs

Four states now have laws in place that prevent cities and counties from creating or continuing guaranteed income programs, and several more have tried or are trying.

May 23, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

California Governor Gavin Newsom announcing funding for tiny home shelter project in front of quick-build tiny home shelter unit.

California’s Tiny Home Pledge Still on Paper, One Year Later

A promise to fund 1,200 tiny homes for unhoused residents in four cities as a way to rapidly and cost-effectively provide shelter has yet to yield tangible results, but projects are moving ahead in some cities.

May 24 - CALmatters

Residential neighborhood in Colorado with fall foliage and snowy mountains in background.

Colorado Ends Non-Family Occupancy Limits

Local jurisdictions will no longer be able to limit how many unrelated adults can live in a household, a move that supporters say will help lower housing costs and help older adults supplement their incomes and stay in their homes.

May 24 - Strong Towns

A white crosswalk painted by Crosswalk Collective LA in Los Angeles, California.

Guerilla Urbanism Spurs Action From Cities

Rather than take a hostile approach to DIY urbanism, some cities are using guerilla efforts as an opportunity to understand critical infrastructure gaps.

May 24 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.