Affordable housing and racial justice

The redevelopment of Philadelphia neighborhoods is putting pressure on the city’s supply of public housing – and on Philadelphia’s poorest residents, who are disproportionately persons of color.  What can be done to ensure that their housing needs are fairly addressed?

With this problem in mind, Justice Lab students are continuing to work this fall with their client, Community Legal Services’ Housing Unit.  While an advanced student continues to work on advocacy related to HUD’s new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program (see our Philadelphia Rental Assistance Demonstration Program Advocacy Guide, issued last spring), other Justice Lab students are helping CLS develop a long-term strategy to address racial justice in affordable housing in Philadelphia.

Students are collecting and analyzing data about public housing properties, Section 8 contracts, demographics, income levels, gentrification trends, and other factors to identify ways to preserve affordable housing.  This innovative work will allow the students and CLS to develop proactive strategies to preserve equitable, affordable housing in Philadelphia, before tenants are at risk of losing their homes.