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Low Cost Housing Units Disappearing from Philadelphia's Gentrifying Neighborhoods

Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia find evidence of displacement in Philadelphia's gentrifying neighborhoods.
December 20, 2016, 8am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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University of Pennsyvlania

[Updated January 10, 2016] "Researchers at the Community Development Studies & Education Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found that Philadelphia’s gentrifying neighborhoods have lost low-cost rental units at *more than five times the rate of nongentrifying neighborhoods," according to a press release on the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The press release explains Philadelphia's unique situation among large U.S. cities: "Although the city’s housing costs are relatively low compared with its mid-Atlantic peers, Philadelphia continues to have the highest poverty rate among the ten largest U.S. cities."

Using U.S. Census data, the study "found that between 2000 and 2014, the city lost 23,628 units with rents that fell below the $750 threshold." The study also noticed a geographic trend for the loss of affordable units: "These losses were especially acute in gentrifying neighborhoods, such as University City and the Graduate Hospital neighborhood."

Noting the economic consequences of housing constraints for low income residents, the study also calls for policymakers to take action to support the economic mobility of Philadelphia residents.

[The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia contacted Planetizen to submit the following correction: The original version of this report initially misclassified three gentrifying census tracts as nongentrifying. Additionally, the gentrification type classifications have been corrected. This updated report reflects the corrected analysis.]

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Published on Monday, December 19, 2016 in Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
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