Help save affordable housing in Philly | Bulletin

Residents of the University City Townhomes are fighting against rich developers who use the housing market to line their pockets at the expense of the working class.

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Residents of the University City Townhomes are fighting against rich developers who use the housing market to line their pockets at the expense of the working class. The townhomes, owned by Brett Altman, have provided low-income housing to more than 70 families for almost 40 years. Now, Altman plans to sell and demolish the property this July, which would cause mass displacement and community disruption. 

UC Townhomes residents, some of whom have been living at the complex for more than 30 years, are being forced to leave by early July and will not receive housing vouchers from HUD until as late as April—not nearly enough time to find replacement housing that will accept vouchers in a city where income discrimination is illegal but widespread. Many residents are disabled or have other barriers to finding housing such as poor credit. At the same time, Altman stands to sell the land for up to $100 million and bolster Penn’s expansion in West Philly.

The displacement of UC Townhomes residents is possible largely due to deliberate city planning goals made between universities, developers, and the City 40 years ago—an age old story of the ruling elite trading houses for profit, destroying communities in its wake. But residents are coming together to stand up to the capitalists and demand what they are owed. The Party & Protest is the culmination of months of resident’s organizing and action both in their homes and on Penn’s campus.  

In coalition with student organizers from Police Free Penn and AAUP faculty, residents living at the University City Townhomes are demanding that Brett Altman, the City of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the University City District:


You can read the residents' full demands here and learn more about the background of the fight in their op-ed in the Daily Pennsylvania.

Join Philly DSA, The Save the UC Townhomes Coalition, and our neighbors this Saturday, March 19th to show support for these residents and their demands. Together we can stop Altman’s mass displacement for profit, and save affordable housing for the working class. Meet at 40th and Market. We march at 1:30pm, followed by food, music, and comradery. 

On the calendar
Unless otherwise specified, all events are held via Zoom. 

Medicare for All Campaign Brainstorm, tonight at 7pm
Join us for a conversation about creating a strategic campaign to support M4A!

Ben Fletcher Campaign Meeting, tonight at 7pm
Join the campaign to install a mural to commemorate Ben Fletcher and the legacy of interracial labor organizing in Philadelphia.

The Farmers Protests & Peoples Movements in India, tomorrow at 7pm, Making Worlds Bookstore in West Philly
We’re talking with Navkiran Natt, activist of the struggle and co-editor of the Farmers paper The Trolley Times! Pre-registration at the link above is required, and if you can't make it you can watch the livestream.

Housing Justice Canvass, March 20 at 1pm, Clark Park
Talk to renters in West Philly about rent control and good cause eviction protections!

March New Member Meeting, March 22 at 6:30pm
Learn about the local and the many ways you can get involved!

Happy Hour! March 23 at 5pm, American Sardine Bar
Join us if you're curious about DSA, looking to get more involved, or just want to hang!

Upcoming Paul Prescod Canvasses
Both the campaign AND the weather are heating up! We need you out on the doors for Paul. Here are four upcoming canvasses Philly DSA is hosting, in Philly and Delco, and on the weekend and weeknights! Options for all!

View the full calendar.

Updates from the branches

BuxMont DSA
Anti-Privatization Strategy Session, March 22 at 7pm
Strategize how to expand on the work we’ve been doing with Neighbors Oppose Privatization Efforts (NOPE) to stop Aqua PA privatization.

Delco DSA
Delco DSA Fundraiser for Paul Prescod, March 19 at 4pm, The Fainting Goat
Join us for a party to benefit an amazing candidate for PA State Senate who will rep Delco and Philly! We're fighting for public education, workers' rights, a new deal on environmental justice, and much more!

View all BuxMont events or all Delco events

This week in unions

  • Our Labor Branch will be canvassing for our endorsed candidate, Paul Prescod, together on Sunday, April 10th. Details TBA, but stick around after for a Labor Branch social!
  • Please take our short survey about your work/union status. It’ll be quick, we promise, and it’ll help our work moving forward!
  • We are proud to support cafe and coffee shop workers who are unionizing in Philly and nationwide! Stay tuned for more ways to support.
  • Teachers in Minneapolis are still on strike for higher wages, smaller class sizes, and the future of public education. Donate to their strike fund here.

To get involved: If you’re interested in supporting workers who want to organize, organizing your workplace, supporting workers and unions taking collective action, or in building relationships with rank and file union members and leaders, email [email protected]

On the bulletin

  • The Debt Collective and others are heading to DC on April 4 to DEMAND Biden cancel all federal student loans with the flick of a pen through an executive order
    • Philly DSA recently signed on as a cosponsor to this event and you can join folks on a FREE BUS from Philly to DC and back on the 4th! Sign up for your seat on the bus! We'll likely depart from Philly around 9am and expect to return around 7pm, but specific details are to follow. 
    • Learn more at the upcoming PA Debt Collective meeting on March 21st at 7:30pm, register for the meeting here.
    • Reach out to PA Debt Collective organizer Nick M ([email protected]) with any questions! And check out the links above on our
  • Local housing activist Jennifer Bennetch has sadly passed away after fighting COVID. Please donate to her family.
  • As the crisis unfolds in Ukraine, please read the DSA International Committee statement on opposing US intervention.
  • Join us on Slack: If you’re a Philly DSA member and you’d like to join our Slack workspace, please fill out this form.
  • Harassment and Grievance Process: Read about the process to file a grievance here.

In solidarity,

Philly DSA

“Apostles of Freedom are ever idolised when dead, but crucified when alive.” - James Connolly

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