This report explores one aspect of gentrification’s impact on housing costs by examining its association with changes in Philadelphia’s stock of low-cost units, defined as those that rent for less than $750 per month. Using tract-level Census data, this report finds that the city lost one out of every five low-cost units between 2000 and 2014. These losses were especially acute in gentrifying neighborhoods, which lost low-cost units at nearly five times the rate of nongentrifying neighborhoods. These losses were mitigated by the city’s stock of federally subsidized affordable housing, but 20 percent of these subsidized units will see their affordability restriction periods expire within the next five years. The preservation of federally subsidized units would help stem the city’s loss of housing that is affordable to lower-income residents and would give these residents greater access to improving neighborhoods that may otherwise be financially unattainable.
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.