Resolution 2020.12.03: Philly DSA Supports Rent Control

Author: Karim N

Sponsors: Daisy C, Derek H, Katherine R, Heather P, Patrick A, Michele S, Sue C, Sam D, Emily B, Toni D, Shawn H, Patrick W, Michele R, Anlin W, Ron J, Matt C, Duncan G, Austin B

Preamble/Summary: This resolution establishes Philly DSA’s commitment to achieving rent control as a means of abating the housing crisis. Work toward achieving rent control may include legislative advocacy, phone banking, letter-writing, coalition-building, and direct action, among other tactics. Philly DSA’s Housing Committee will lead efforts to achieve rent control.

Whereas, many cities in the US are facing a historic housing crisis, with more than 11 million families spending more than half of their income on rent.

Whereas, Philadelphia is undergoing a rising housing crisis, being the poorest big city (of the largest ten cities) in the US, with 26% of city residents living in poverty. Philadelphia’s unemployment rate continues to be higher than the national average. Meanwhile rents have risen for the fourth year in a row, and the median renter’s income is only $31,000.

Whereas, Philadelphia’s housing costs are unaffordable. More than half of Philadelphia renters are cost-burdened, meaning they pay over 30% of their income on housing. Almost a third of Philadelphia renters are severely cost-burdened, meaning they pay over 50% of their rent on housing. Yet the City has only 41 affordable units for every 100 extremely low income households

Whereas, Philadelphia’s average housing costs are unaffordable for minimum wage workers earning $7.25/hour; a person would have to work 106 hours/week at minimum wage to afford a modest one bedroom apartment.

Whereas, rent control can provide housing security for working people in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic and economic depression.

Whereas, DSA formally supported rent control as a key pillar towards achieving housing justice at the 2019 DSA National Convention.

Whereas, Philly DSA’s recently endorsed candidates, including Councilmember Kendra Brooks, State Representative-elect Rick Krajewski, and State Senator-elect Nikil Saval, ran successful campaigns centering rent control as a policy plank.

Therefore be it resolved, that Philly DSA supports and will play an active role in the campaign for rent control in Philadelphia.

Be it further resolved, that Philly DSA’s Housing Committee will help coordinate efforts to advance and achieve rent control, including but not limited to legislative advocacy, phonebanking, letter-writing, coalition-building, and direct action.

Be it finally resolved, that the campaign for rent control will not be to the exclusion of work on social housing or other methods of expanding the supply of affordable housing.

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