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Philadelphia has long been known as a “City of Neighborhoods.” We are a city of block parties, play streets and potlucks. We sit together on stoops and porches, we watch the Eagles and Phillies at the bar down the street, and we know each other’s children. Generations have put down roots here, buying homes and becoming part of the community.

But in too many neighborhoods today, that dream of owning a home or even finding an affordable rental is slipping away – today only 52% of homes are owner-occupied, down from 60% in 2009. And homeownership among Black residents fell to 47% in 2019 from a high of 55% in 1990.   

Many factors have contributed to this decrease in home ownership.  Gentrification has led to increases in property taxes and rents, pushing long-term residents out. New housing construction has not kept pace with Philadelphia’s growth in population by 78,000 people since 2010.   And Black residents continue to be denied mortgages at higher rates than whites.  

Private equity firms and corporations are also buying up owner-occupied homes at alarming rates – in 2021, more than 40% of houses sold in some North Philadelphia and West Philadelphia neighborhoods were bought by corporations. These out-of-town buyers are converting many of these homes into rental properties. According to HUD, large corporate owners are 68% more likely to evict tenants than smaller landlords. 


Decreases in homeownership undermine Philadelphia’s stability and strong community fabric. They also limit residents’ ability to accumulate wealth over time.

The limited supply of housing also drives up rental costs.  Today, the average monthly rent in Philadelphia is $1900 and only 7% of rents fall between $700 and $1000.  As the Pennsylvania Economy League reported last year, “an individual earning the average income in Greater Philadelphia (roughly $67,400) was considered rent-burdened.”  48% of renters in Philadelphia pay more than 30% of their income in rent (Economy League). 

As the burdens of high rent have become overwhelming for many Philadelphians, more people face housing insecurity–some for a few days while they search for a new home and some more long-term.  On the night of the 2022 Point In Time Count, Philadelphia sheltered 1,269 family members in transitional or emergency shelters, including 783 children.  An additional 2,432 single adults were living in transitional, emergency, or safe haven shelters.  788 people were living on the streets. Evictions are trending upward in Philadelphia and the amount of money owed by tenants averages more than $4000.

These evictions have ripple effects throughout the city: the evictions force children to switch schools throughout the year, parents to spend time and resources to find new homes, and other family needs go unmet.  Many of us see the toll that the lack of affordable housing has on our neighbors every day. 

Rebecca wants to strengthen our neighborhoods so that Philadelphia remains the City of Neighborhoods. She wants every community to thrive. A Rhynhart Administration believes that all of us deserve safe, affordable housing and neighborhoods where we can build our lives and livelihoods with dignity. Housing provides stability for people and communities. 

Racist government policies of the past, such as redlining in Philadelphia, intentionally kept Black and Brown residents from buying homes and systemic racism continues to make it more difficult for Black and Brown families to secure mortgages. Rebecca will use her platform to advocate for ending the systemic racist policies that still exist in our nation's banking policies and laws today. To right this wrong, we must be intentional and creative. 

Mayor Rhynhart will confront the city’s lack of affordable housing on multiple fronts.



  • Rebecca will develop a citywide housing plan that prioritizes the creation of new and affordable housing in every neighborhood. Working with City Council, Rhynhart's Administration will leverage the 8,500 city-owned vacant lots and properties to develop this much-needed housing supply for our residents. ​

  • Mayor Rhynhart will look to utilize funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to subsidize mortgages to encourage homeownership in historically disadvantaged communities, especially Black homeownership.

  • A Rhynhart Administration will utilize revenues flowing into the Housing Trust Fund to encourage homeownership and to best support basic home repair to keep people in their homes and help older residents age in place. 

  • Rebecca will work with Mayors from around the country to find legal methods to deter speculative corporate investors from turning owner-occupied homes into rental properties and support efforts in Congress to close tax and legal loopholes.

  • We cannot allow bad owners to hide behind corporate identities when their properties start undermining our neighborhoods. Rebecca will take steps to use the city’s authority to make sure that a real individual’s name is attached to every corporate-owned property in Philadelphia.  



  • When forces of gentrification make tax bills unaffordable, Mayor Rhynhart will make sure that long-term residents are not forced to leave their homes.  Too many residents are not part of programs like the Long-Term Owner Occupants Program (LOOP) and the Senior Tax Freeze that can mitigate rising costs and allow people to stay in their homes because they don’t know these programs exist. A Rhynhart Administration will deploy city employees and volunteers to conduct door-to-door outreach informing long-term homeowners of programs available and helping them enroll in these important programs.

  • Increase funding for the city’s Basic Systems Repair Program and support organizations like Rebuilding Philadelphia Together that help homeowners make needed repairs to their homes. 

  • Many Philadelphians, particularly Black Philadelphians, do not have legal title to their homes despite having lived in them for generations. Rebecca's Administration will address this tangled title problem by coordinating title research and other legal services to help clean titles and allow people to grow wealth.



  • Develop and enforce accountability for discriminatory housing practices and income discrimination.

  • Expand the renter eviction program to make sure that families are not kicked out of their homes for unjust reasons. At the same time, a Rhynhart Administration will make sure that “mom-and-pop” landlords who own three or fewer properties can keep their rents paid using rent subsidies.

  • Mayor Rhynhart will convene the Philadelphia Housing Authority, local elected officials, community advocates and stakeholders to develop solutions for the looming subsidized housing crisis due to the nearly 2000 units of subsidized housing expiring in the next five years. 



  • A Rhynhart Administration will increase the number of available temporary, transitional, and permanent housing units for the chronically homeless. 

  • Mayor Rhynhart will provide holistic, wrap-around services within the temporary shelter system and examine shelter policies to make sure that our policies are not unintentionally creating barriers of entry for our unhoused population.

  • Rebecca will also increase efforts to connect the unhoused and encampment residents with the shelter, services, and housing that will end their homelessness and examine the reasons why people return to the streets to develop interventions that lower such recidivism, which will be one metric through which we will hold ourselves accountable.

  • Rhynhart's Administration will enforce existing sidewalk behavior laws, while providing compassionate care to those experiencing homelessness.

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