I Applied for a Gentrified Apartment and Didn’t Like It

Guilt and gentrification — upward mobility angst

iWriteTee

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Photo by Freddy Do on Unsplash

I write about the Philadelphia housing crisis because the struggle is real and people need to know that housing insecurity doesn’t start with homeless or “unhoused” people. It starts with a lack of resources and support. Many people are pushed out of their communities when developers and investors buy properties and price the residents out of their own neighborhoods.

For example, yesterday — I went to see a beautiful but tiny 2 bedroom, 2 bath with a garage on Ridge Ave. That apartment was $1500. As I walked into the showing, a homeless man asked me for money. I felt bad because I don’t carry cash and purposely didn’t bring my purse. What was I doing?

While I could technically afford it — things would be tight and my view would literally be a low-income housing development right across the street.

I’m not sure if this neighborhood has one of the new trendy names like Sharswood or Brewerytown, but I walked away from the showing with mixed feelings. I’ve devoted my life to serving my community — who am I to think it’s ok to pay high-end rent in one of Philadelphia’s poorest and underserved neighborhoods? According to Census data, the median income for zip code 19121 (North Philly) is $32,344. If…

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iWriteTee

Top Writer, matriarch, educator & advocate with bylines in Zora, Momentum, An Injustice!, Illumination, Creators Hub, etc. Community Builder #FoodieFridays