Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities Calls for Anti-Speculation Tax - Generocity Philly

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Apr. 1, 2015 10:58 am

Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities Calls for Anti-Speculation Tax

Coalition of community organizations pitches own ideas to halt gentrification.

The Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities, formed in September 2014 around the goal of stopping displacement caused by rising property values, is calling for an anti-speculation fee. The tax would be levied against developers who buy and sell houses within two years, a practice commonly known as “flipping.”

The Coalition, which includes faith-based organizations, community development corporations, unions and nonprofits, announced the proposed tax and other policy recommendations at a press conference yesterday at City Hall.

“Philadelphia has tackled a declining population for decades and our recent resurgence has meant big changes in our housing market,” said Nora Lichtash, executive director of the Women’s Community Revitalization Project and a principal organizer of the Coalition, in a press release.

“As housing costs skyrocket, income levels for most Philadelphians are shrinking and what we end up seeing are long-term residents being pushed out of their communities. Our proposal allows development to continue but will make developers who ‘flip’ houses contribute to a fund that helps expand affordability in our city.”

Other recommendations include increasing the Realty Transfer Tax by 1.5 percent to generate $12 million per year for the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund, a fund for affordable housing development established in 2005 funded mostly by non-city revenue.

Read the coalition’s Displacement Without Development report here.

Photo via Flickr user JD Hancock

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