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GumshoeAndy t1_je9zx5a wrote

I don't think this is cause for immediate alarm but, the gains made over the last 20 years are fragile. Our murder rate is still way too high, we're unable/unwilling to address the trash issue, and the mayor hasn't done anything except drink white wine with extra ice cubes for years.

It's time for a change.


DeltaNerd t1_jea1jf8 wrote

I can't believe we need a major change just to do the basic services...


GumshoeAndy t1_jea2s7q wrote

I've been submitting 311 tickets for the same abandonded car for three years.


blackb11988 t1_jeajjw2 wrote

Have you seen the PPAs new initiatives to address these cars?


GumshoeAndy t1_jeav85e wrote

Yeah, I called the obscured tag phone number earlier this week. I left a message. I still haven't heard back and the car moved down the block. Maybe other people have had better experiences but, I'm not optimistic.


rndljfry t1_jeaxv0f wrote

It just takes a while. They reach out to the owner and all kinds of stuff. They took 3 cars off my block a couple months ago.

"Moved down the block" will be a problem for getting it removed. They're looking for deflated tires, expired tags, other damage like that.

Parking on the street for a long time isn't abandonment, at least technically.


DeltaNerd t1_jea33hn wrote

I need to start doing that too


GumshoeAndy t1_jea4db2 wrote

If we had functioning basic city services like universal street sweeping, you wouldn't need to.


ColdJay64 t1_jea6dgz wrote

Vote Domb! He pointed out that the city’s operating budget has gone up 50% since 2015, but that city services have only gotten worse. He also mentioned prioritizing population growth.


GumshoeAndy t1_jea88w3 wrote

Agreed. Domb and Rhynhart are the only candidates I'm considering.


AbsentEmpire t1_jec33cp wrote

Wish we had ranked choice for this very reason, they're the only two candidates worthy of consideration, everyone else is just varying levels of do nothing, corrupt, and clown.


GumshoeAndy t1_jec3aej wrote

I don’t disagree. I hope they don’t split the reasonable vote.


ColdJay64 t1_jech06k wrote

I don’t see how they won’t. Practically everyone reasonable I encounter says those are their top 2, and they’re mine as well. Domb is my top choice but I’d be happy with Rhynhart.


GumshoeAndy t1_jechkt8 wrote

Exactly. I'm leaning towards Rhynhart but, I'd be happy with Domb. It sounds like you and I have similar views on the candidates but, we're at risk of canceling each other out. This is a good case for ranked choice voting.


uptimefordays t1_jeexvas wrote

A new mayor seems unlikely to solve our problems. Most of the major issues facing the city are symptoms of structural issues like poverty, for which there are not quick fixes.


[deleted] t1_jea9ind wrote



GumshoeAndy t1_jeaagrg wrote

100% correct. Thankfully, that useless fuck is finally approaching the end of his term.


PhillyAccount t1_je9ylyn wrote

Kind of nuts that this article cherry picks two domestic migrators who moved to Manhattan and Spain. Based on prior years domestic out-migration data, most of the population losses are coming from North, West, and South Philly...i.e., the poorer neighborhoods experiencing social and economic issues.


ColdJay64 t1_jea0ifw wrote

While I don't know where their data comes from, the Center City District said that the population of "Greater Center City" (Girard to Tasker) has grown 4.3% since 2020.


SouthPhilly_215 t1_jebo44y wrote

Well if you count Tasker as the border of SP then I idunno. Thats weird.


ColdJay64 t1_jebqua2 wrote

I don’t, South Street is the border. That is their measurement for “Greater Center City”, and within those boundaries the population has continued to grow. I just thought it was relevant to the comment above.


bigassbiddy t1_jeazfn6 wrote

That’s greater center city, not the city of Philadelphia. Greater center city doesn’t include west, north, and most of south Philly


tsarstruck t1_jeb0ssg wrote

True, although it does include south Philly to Tasker Street by CCD's definition.


wubbalubbazubzub t1_jead58g wrote

Hmm I wonder if sky high rent prices and piss poor pay have anything to do with this.


blodreina_kumWonkru t1_jealv59 wrote


But let's build a few more "luxury" apartment buildings just to be sure!


BUrower t1_jeatub9 wrote

When someone rents a unit in a brand new building, they don’t rent an older unit. Less demand pressure on the old unit keeps rents lower.

We absolutely should be developing more apartment buildings (and for that matter at a greater unit density per acre). Philly has under-built apartments for decades.


doublestoddington t1_jeb42lp wrote

When someone rents in a new building, they may be vacating an old. While there are laws in PA around vacancy decontrol (rent raised at renewal of lease), we do not have any around vacancy control (rent can only be raised x amount for the new tenant). Without that any landlord will of course seek the best rent they can, often a substantial jump and thus a decrease in supply of lower rate rentals. This can be addressed long term with ample supply, both public and private. However in addition to increasing supply, we should be looking at some sort of price control.


Gobirds831 t1_jeb7yvx wrote

As I agree with what some of you said I don’t think the brownstones are charging much less than the new units


BUrower t1_jecq3xl wrote

3BR apartments in new buildings are definitely more expensive than a 3BR row home


Gobirds831 t1_jecr60s wrote

Yeah key piece of information there…3BR. My studio around 16th and spruce was $1,300. A studio in my next building in Old City was $1,650 and had a pool and gym.


UndercoverPhilly t1_jee43vo wrote

Not really. There re lots of new luxury buildings but it is not keeping rents lower. I live in an old building. They are raising our rent more this year than any other since 2015. Im sure they’ll get it since most people leaving are doing so because they can’t afford the increases not because they want to jump into a luxury building and pay $2000 plus for a 1 bedroom. They are moving to more dangerous neighborhoods with cheaper rent or downsizing to a studio. Someone who needs to pay less will move into my building, not someone looking to pay more. This story is being repeated constantly since 2021. Ive heard it from many people (this is anecdotal of course).

According to other articles I read, the average rent in Philadelphia increased by 10% in 2022. I was planning to buy but there is nothing coming available that I can afford—unfortunately I was not ready last Spring when there were many options. My salary hasn’t kept up with the increases so unless I move to another neighborhood or downsize I won’t be accepted into any other building since I’m not making 3x the rent.


BUrower t1_jee8zfc wrote

If landlords are able to raise rents that much, it’s because there is a shortage of housing units. There really isn’t “lots of new luxury buildings.” There are a handful of true luxury apartments and another handful of new construction apartments that have opened recently, but as a percentage of total housing inventory, it’s nothing, not enough to keep rents down.

What you described is a direct result of the city not allowing enough housing, there is an under supply. The city could 1. upzone the more desirable neighborhoods, especially those walking distance to transit .which would permit more housing units on a given parcel 2. Remove burdensome parking minimums and zoning overlays.


wubbalubbazubzub t1_jean3ww wrote

1700/month for your very own studio apartment! With broken fixtures from the 70s and missing floor tiles! Must make 3 times rent. Application costs 500 dollars


the_rest_were_taken t1_jeb1cqp wrote

Yeah building less housing is for sure the best way to lower rent prices! We should probably just stop building any new housing at all


Indiana_Jawns t1_jeb9ndj wrote

What if we built more affordable units now instead of hoping that older units might become available at cheaper rents sometime down the road?


the_rest_were_taken t1_jebasoy wrote

Are these government built affordable housing projects? Or are you proposing a way to force private companies to build housing and sell it for cheaper than it cost to build?


Indiana_Jawns t1_jebgpqb wrote

We already have zoning bonuses for having affordable units or other public amenities. 90% of the time a developer will take a zoning bonus with the promise of having a green grocer and then you end up with a bank branch


the_rest_were_taken t1_jebily8 wrote

> 90% of the time a developer will take a zoning bonus with the promise of having a green grocer and then you end up with a bank branch

If you're going to completely make up numbers it usually helps to make them semi-realistic. What a ridiculous claim lmao. I'm also not sure how any of that answers either of my questions....


Indiana_Jawns t1_jebj2h0 wrote

Your arguments have been too strawmany to take seriously. But developers can still build affordable units and make a profit, especially if they take advantage of the aforementioned zoning bonuses


the_rest_were_taken t1_jebl74t wrote

> Your arguments have been too strawmany to take seriously.

Lmao what?? You suggested that we build more affordable housing instead of regular housing. I asked how you propose we do that. I haven't even made an argument let alone a "strawmany" one.

> But developers can still build affordable units and make a profit, especially if they take advantage of the aforementioned zoning bonuses

Sure, but that only works if they're part of a market rate development. The person I replied to before you jumped into the conversation is opposed to market rate development of any kind.


Indiana_Jawns t1_jec4uac wrote

Yeah dude, your response to criticism of the amount of luxury housing being built is to suggest that the alternative is to build no housing at all. Or that if developers aren’t building luxury housing they’re going to lose money on a project


the_rest_were_taken t1_jecaphs wrote

The person I responded to was arguing that new “luxury” housing raises rent prices across the board. If we pretend that nonsense is true then isn’t the solution to rising rent prices to stop building “luxury” housing?

My second point (that you misinterpreted) was that if developers were forced to only build affordable housing they would have to do so at a loss because construction costs in our region are too high to support a unit price that would be considered affordable. It’s not even close when you factor in added costs for parking minimums, height and other zoning restrictions, and elevated land costs due to the structure of our real estate taxes.


MShoeSlur t1_jeb5ssu wrote

Rents are pretty reasonable but salaries are almost half of NYC salaries


UndercoverPhilly t1_jee4vit wrote

They aren’t reasonable for what you are getting. There are old buildings with apartments that haven’t been renovated in 30 years that are riding this wave and increasing the rent every year because of demand for cheaper housing. If nothing has been done in an apartment for even 10 years objectively speaking, why is it worth $500 more per month? It’s supply and demand from the other external factors, but outside of that the apartment itself has depreciated in real value, not increased.


Chimpskibot t1_je9wonb wrote

Census yearly estimates are almost always incorrect. And somehow Philly lost all this population yet citywide rental vacancy is around 5%.


nougat98 t1_je9xi2p wrote

The city was built for 2 million people


Chimpskibot t1_je9xpbh wrote

It wasn’t 😅. That is our pre-war population peak, but household size was larger. We now actually have less population than our peak, but more households.


ell0bo t1_jea2fau wrote

Yeah, we're at something like half the density of back then. I don't remember the figures, but when I looked them up 5 or 6 years back, I was pretty shocked.

Think about it. Some of those old brown stones have one family living in them. If it's a house with a worker door, then there were servants living in the basement, and the family above. Granted, we don't need to account for stables anymore, but still people want more space to live these days.


nougat98 t1_jea3wft wrote

here's a perfectly good house for $89k. You could make $18k a year and still pay the mortgage.


nnn62 t1_jea7rn9 wrote

Perfectly good house in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.


Away_Swimming_5757 t1_jeaklb6 wrote

Perfectly good house to buy, rent out cheaply until the area eventually gets better over the course of the next 30 years and then have a cheaply acquired, high cash-flow property.


AbsentEmpire t1_jec1t97 wrote

Buying a house in that neighborhood and hoping to rent it for a profit is as much market speculation as investing in NFTs and about as smart. The way to do land speculation in these shit areas is buy a tear down, clear the land, and pay almost nothing in taxes on it for the next 20 years, which is what usually happens.


nougat98 t1_je9z3bg wrote

All the demand is for a few key neighborhoods. Except for immigrants, no one is moving to the vast swathes of declining areas.


Chimpskibot t1_jea050g wrote

No it’s not. Demand is up everywhere and it’s really wrong to discount immigrants, they are instrumental in the revitalization of North Philly and the Northeast.


nnn62 t1_jea4xef wrote

This is totally baseless. Exactly which areas of NE or North Philly are being “revitalized” in general let alone by immigrants. Is the bar so low in Philadelphia that a new restaurant opened by an immigrant is considered “revitalization?”


Chimpskibot t1_jeadpba wrote

I mean I work in the NE so I see it every day. Mayfair, Somerton and Bustleton are all booming with construction activity. Same with Germantown. In fact Mayfair has had such insane population growth over the last 10 years they had to open a new elementary school.


nnn62 t1_jeaq146 wrote

I live in the NE, have my whole life. Where is all this “booming construction” you speak of? You’re talking about population growth and I never mentioned anything about that. I’m talking about revitalization, one school being opened doesn’t mean that all of a sudden Mayfair is revitalized. Or any of the other neighborhoods you mentioned. I’m not speaking on Germantown because I’m not familiar with the neighborhood.


Genkiotoko t1_jea0xn7 wrote

Got data for this claim?


nougat98 t1_jea3139 wrote

if the article in question shows a census drop isn't the burden of proof on those who dispute that number? Where is your proof that people have been moving into Strawberry Mansion and Hunting Park and yet have somehow avoided being counted?


An_emperor_penguin t1_jebxpvz wrote

just fyi no one is being "counted", this is a yearly estimate that the census bureau puts out, they have been predicting all urban areas have been declining since like 2016, except when they actually counted in 2020 it turned out it wasn't true, and they went straight back to estimating declines.


William_d7 t1_jebhrsm wrote

That’s why it drives me nuts when people trot out historical figures to make the point we need more high rises in Queen Village or somewhere similar.

In my neighborhood, there are literally hundreds more individual units than there were 80 years ago. If the population has shrunk, it’s entirely a result of smaller family sizes.

Therefore, historical population data shouldn’t be used as a be all end all to justify overbuilding. There’s a difference between a single house with 2 parents, 4 kids, and grandma; and four separate houses with 1.75 persons each.


TheBSQ t1_jeanmyx wrote

The annual ACS definitely isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. (They did mess up Philly’s poverty rate a few years ago.)

And the decline is big enough that even if it is over-estimating the decline, it’s probably still a decline. And it declined last year too.

I agree that I wouldn’t rush to conclusions until we’ve got another year of data, but I also wouldn’t just hand-wave it away and assume it’s incorrect, especially in one particular direction. Maybe it’s under-estimating the decline.

But yeah, next year, if we get a decline again, and the l 3-year ACS date file shows a decline, then it’s probably a decline.


randompittuser t1_jeb2vjk wrote

That's some hand-waving. Like what's the typical margin of error on annual census estimates? Is it safe to say that the city lost residents this year, as opposed to gaining residents? Also, rental vacancy seems like such an indirect metric in regard to city population. Rental vacancy could mean a variety of things-- smaller household sizes, less total rentals on the market, etc.


Chimpskibot t1_jeb4ur9 wrote

It’s safe to say the ACS is meaningless and all policy and conclusions should be drawn from the census every decade which showed modest population gains in Philadelphia. Rental Vacancy is the best metric along with rental growth to understand population growth YOY because people need a place to live and housing pressure is directly correlated to population/income growth.


An_emperor_penguin t1_jebyoyh wrote

> Like what's the typical margin of error on annual census estimates?

they've been getting worse and worse because the census has been estimating that all cities have been losing pop since 2017 or earlier, the 2020 census when they actually counted showed that was not true but they never updated how they're doing the estimates


nemesisinphilly t1_jea5ffx wrote

Bucks and Delco also lost population. Montco had a very small gain but basically no change.

I think Greater Center City keeps growing while the outer neighborhoods are losing population.

These year over year estimates are wildly inaccurate for urban areas. Last estimate had to be revised by 14,000 people for Philly. Initial estimate said Philly lost 25k then revised to 11k


ColdJay64 t1_je9ubir wrote

The biggest losers were Los Angeles County, California (-90,704); Cook County, Illinois (-68,314); Queens County, New York (-50,112); Kings County, New York (-46,970); and Bronx County, New York (-41,143).

LA, Chicago, and NYC lost more, proportionally speaking. As usual, we are beholden to nation-wide trends.

Also, this data is to be taken with a grain of salt. They say we lost population from July '21 to July '22, this article states that we gained population from April '21 to April '22:

"They found that while Philadelphia steadily lost population during the first year and a half of the pandemic, the picture has been more mixed since mid-2021. Between April 2021 and April 2022, the city’s population grew by 0.8%, while Brooklyn, Chicago and San Francisco have not experienced a single month of population increase since March 2020."


CookedDenimRawPizza t1_je9yoeo wrote

Since it seems like all cities have kinda lost population….

I’m going to guess we are still seeing the fallout of wfh and how that is changing people’s living situations. 2022 was the last year where some level of Covid/wfh policies were in flux. I’ll be curious to see trends in the coming years now that policy like that seems to be settled.


TheBSQ t1_jeatsq1 wrote

There was a prediction in the decline of urban populations before the pandemic.

A very common lifecycle in the US is to grow up in the burbs, move to the city as a young adult, then go back to the burbs to raise kids.

Millennials are the biggest generation though, so when they hit the “move to the city” phase, urban populations rose. And due to great financial crisis, student debt, etc. they were also poorer and delayed family formation (and delayed leaving for the burbs), which mean their large urban pop blip hung around longer than previous generations.

This millennial blip fueled US urban renewal.

But even before the pandemic, demographers were noting that Millennials were finally getting around to family formation and starting the typical “return to the burbs” part of the American lifestyle.

Anecdotally, as an Xennial, most of my friends were city-dwelling & child-free right up until they started hitting the “now or never” child-bearing deadlines, and right around 40 nearly all my child-free friends suddenly had kids. Some immediately left for the burbs. Some stuck around for a couple years, but the vast vast majority bailed for the burbs.

WFH has definitely facilitated this, but the crime / unhoused / opioid issues ain’t helping.

When you’re twenty-something, a little city grit is fine. Some dirty needles, smoking on trains, gun violence…it just kinda rolls off the shoulders. By the time you’re 40, it gets old, and when you’re a parent it hits different. Plus, you just kinda age out of stuff like live music, bars, the new hip restaurant, parties, clubs, etc.

That being said, due to Millennials staying in urban settings longer, being more climate conscious, I think they’re more reluctant to give up on walkability, transit, etc. so I think when they are leaving, they’re opting for the denser suburbs with walkable main streets, with transit access into the city, your Ardmore, Collingswood, etc. (Maplewood is popular with my NYC friends).

That, or they’re moving to more affordable 2nd tier cities where you can buy a bit more space, or places like the little artsy towns of the Catskills.

Anyway, here’s some pre-pandemic “millennials are leaving the big cities for the suburbs” articles.

Read those, and then toss in how city issues related to crime, addiction, the unhoused, etc. have gotten worse while WFH / remote work has become more common.

Those trends will only increase, especially as more millennials age hit the “now or never” child-bearing deadlines.

Gen Z will inherit shrinking cities with growing problems. And once the pandemic era federal aid to transit systems runs dry, transit is gonna have some real issues too. 2020s are the new 1970s.


ColdJay64 t1_jeb4ik9 wrote

As I shared in another comment which I think is relevant to your points, the biggest losers were Los Angeles County, California (-90,704); Cook County, Illinois (-68,314); Queens County, New York (-50,112); Kings County, New York (-46,970); and Bronx County, New York (-41,143).

I think all of the "legacy" cities posting losses larger than Philly (though we're obviously in this category too) does point to a larger trend like you said.

Even major "Sun Belt" cities like Miami, Houston and Dallas, all had sizable domestic out-migration: Miami-Dade County, FL (-38,203); Harris County, TX (-20,006); and Dallas County, TX (-20,245). All of this is assuming this data is remotely accurate.

Gen Z is still moving to cities and it's encouraging that Philly is one of their top destinations. We had a higher net gain than NYC, Chicago, Houston, Charlotte, etc. I wasn't alive in the 70s but wasn't that the immediate aftermath of white flight? I don't think things will get anywhere near that bad.


That_Obligatior16 t1_jear2qk wrote

Also gen z is a smaller cohort than millennials. Gen z is moving into cities per a recent article that showed up on this sub. I turned 30 in 2020, and many of my millennial friends who were living in the city moved out to the suburbs - which is pretty typical for americans of that age thinking about schools, a yard for kids to play in etc.

In 2006 when gen x was reaching that stage of their lives more millennials were moving in to replace them because there were more 20yo millennials than 30yo gen xers. That math is now flipped.

There are no larger generations coming in the foreseeable future, and fewer commuters seems to be a permanent new norm. Cities in general are going to need to figure out how to be great places to raise kids (and be previewed as such). Seems obvious to me that it means safer streets and better public schools. Unfortunately that's kind of a new paradigm, and harder than just getting back to the way things were 10 years ago.


AbsentEmpire t1_jec2etb wrote

It requires a new paradigm that city leadership is actively resisting and pushing away from.


PurpleWhiteOut t1_jeaiio0 wrote

These are almost always wrong. Google Philadelphia population and look at how the graphs decrease every year until the 10 year census when it jumps up. On the other hand past trends have shown Northeast Philly in particular dropping in population precipitously (my guess is a mix between a generation of children moving out at the same time as well as original homeowners starting to die more quickly based on neighborhood development age) which has been dampening the impact of the consistently huge gains in Greater Center City. It's unfortunate that 2020 was a really shitty year for an urban census and we won't have a solid comprehensive picture of the population from 2011-2029


nougat98 t1_jeal2kq wrote

The cell phone carriers have an incredibly accurate count of people who actually live here. Not sure about the census but city itself is clueless - they sent me jury duty notice more than a year after I left. Had to email them a photo of my MT driver’s license to escape their clutches.


ColdJay64 t1_jeb2qh6 wrote

Based on cell phone data, the city's population grew .8% between April '21 and April '22:


William_d7 t1_jebj8i4 wrote

That’s interesting and seems logical given that 1/5 of my friends and neighbors seem to “live” in NJ or elsewhere despite only leaving the city for holidays…


blodreina_kumWonkru t1_jealri5 wrote

This is a shame considering the absurd amount of expensive apartments being built


Flyersdude17 t1_jebftln wrote

Why have a luxury apartment in a crime infested shorty run city when you can in the burbs be safe oh and have a parking spot.


puddin__ t1_jeb38s6 wrote

Then why all these ugly apartments?


puddin__ t1_jeb381h wrote

Then why all these ugly apartments?