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Reviving Philadelphia’s Rent Control: A Necessity for Housing Stability in 2024

Reviving Philadelphia's Rent Control. (Photo: 5280 Magazine)

Today, as rent prices continue to rise and wages remain stagnant, there is a call for to reinstate the Philadelphia’s rent control in 2024, as a new City Council takes office.

Reviving Philadelphia’s Rent Control. (Photo: The pew charitable trusts)

Philadelphia’s Rent Control History: Lessons from 1947

In article published by The Philadelphia Citizen, in 1947, Philadelphia pioneered citywide rent control, reflecting the expectation that housing should be affordable. Today, with soaring rents and stagnant wages, the city can learn from Philadelphia’s rent control history. Amid federal rent control rollbacks, Philadelphians rallied for Philadelphia’s rent control, leading to its unanimous passage.

However, it was later overturned. Presently, rents have surged while wages stagnated, disproportionately affecting Black and Brown communities. Reintroducing Philadelphia’s rent control, which allows reasonable rent increases, can restore balance and affordability to housing. The community is organizing for change, urging City Council and the Mayor to lead the way.

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Philadelphia’s Rent Control: An Essential Remedy for Housing Crisis

According to PBS, in Philadelphia, renters are struggling with frequent rent hikes, especially from larger landlords who often disregard city regulations. Gentrification and new construction have displaced working-class Black and Brown residents as luxury homes become unaffordable due to out-of-town ownership. Property owners are concerned about regulations allowing tenants to stay rent-free for up to 10 months and significant tax increases.

Proposals include forming a task force with both landlords and renters to establish mutually acceptable rules. Smaller landlords find it challenging to manage increasing regulatory costs, potentially leading to sales to larger ownership groups. Experts stress the importance of rent stability for neighborhood well-being, as high rents hinder bill payments and health issues. Without Philadelphia’s rent control, eviction and homelessness threats loom, especially among single-parent households earning minimum wage.

Furthermore, Philadelphians are rallying for rent stabilization, seeking support from the new City Council and Mayor. The Philadelphia’s Rent Control Coalition is hosting community forums, advocating for affordable, stable housing, as was historically expected in the city.

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