Equitable Development Strategy:
Preserving the Community Character of Changing Areas
Historically, Philadelphia suffered from depressed real estate values, which made the development of new housing a rarity in all but a few of the City’s neighborhoods. Beginning in its first year, the Street Administration has sought to increase neighborhood values through improved City services focused at eliminating blight, targeted investments, marketing and aggressive policing. These strategies, combined with other factors have resulted in unprecedented increases in property values across more areas of the city than at any other time in recent history. This creation of wealth is on the whole is a good thing.
There is a growing concern in many traditionally low-investment neighborhoods that as development and real estate values increase, existing residents will be affected negatively. The perception among many residents of these communities is that taxes will rise beyond the financial capacity of the homeowners, and rental prices will rise beyond the means of renters, especially those with fixed incomes. Others are concerned that the creation of parcels of land suitable for development will result in the rampant demolition and condemnation activity. They fear this will lead to displacement and inequity that many associate with appreciating house values.
To address these issues, OHCD developed the “Equitable Development Strategy.” This program has five central goals:
- Measure the factors that effect neighborhoods, such as housing values, tax assessments and, in the long term, demographic information.
- Promote mixed-income development.
- Ensure that existing residents can benefit from revitalization and rising housing values.
- Recommend policies and programs to assist and educate communities and improve the effectiveness of existing policies.
- Promote existing programs that help eligible homeowners pay taxes, repair homes and reduce utility costs.
Value in Neighborhoods Forums are being held citywide to promote the Equitable Development Strategy.
Watch this site for the next event.
(Above) , a large audience at the Shissler Recreation Center in Kensington at the first Value in Neighborhoods forum.
(Below) Attendees had the opportunity to discuss their concerns with representatives from city agencies including the Board of Revision of Taxes shown here.