Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Philly Strides Towards Gentrification

 Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has been buying up land and homes throughout the city for decades at a considerable loss. I often walk around my newly developed neighborhood, formerly North Philly now renamed Northern Liberties, wondering why they would continue to build PHA and section 8 housing in a neighborhood that is rapidly gentrifying.

It hit me today that the answer is simple; they do not intend for it to remain PHA housing. I recently spoke to a long-term resident of my gated (for safety) community. He informed me that our complex used to be PHA housing. As property taxes rose and the yuppies (myself included) and temple students moved into the neighborhood PHA sold off the property and it became condos.

And, it is safe to say that they intend to do this with the majority of their properties. Philadelphia’s government may be broke now, but there is a twisted vision for the future. PHA is just another tool city officials are using to white wash Philadelphia.PHA will continue to sell off and assist in foreclosing houses “reserved” for low-income families, moving large numbers of government dependent, unemployed African Americans into surrounding suburbs.

The vibrancy that flows through Philadelphia will soon be lost and we will see the legacy of the disenfranchised black community continue. What will happen when the hearts and souls that this city was founded upon move out to the burbs?

I guess only time will tell.

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