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Justin Hollinger of Regional Housing Legal Services. Justin Hollinger of Regional Housing Legal Services.

The last decade brought big changes to the Philadelphia real estate market. In the most hotly developing neighborhoods, land and home prices soared to levels that seemed unthinkable a few years earlier. The city’s 2018 Housing Action Plan revealed that this period brought a dramatic spike in the total number of housing units, but with growth concentrated at the high end of the market. The same period has seen the loss of thousands of affordable units, a poverty rate that has barely budged, and a steadily declining homeownership rate with a substantial and static racial divide. All of this takes place against a backdrop of deep racial inequality that continues to affect access to land, credit and capital. As Philadelphia struggles to balance growth and justice, conventional homeownership has steadily receded as an accessible option for more and more Philly families, which will have a lasting impact on who holds a stake in the city’s next act.

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