Philadelphia Selected for New Anti-Displacement Policy Network

Posted by PolicyLink on April 2, 2018

Last month, PolicyLink is announcing that Philadelphia has been selected for the first cohort of the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network. With support from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and The Kresge Foundation, the network of ten cities will work together over the next year on strategies to fight displacement and build inclusive, prosperous cities. The other cities selected for the cohort are: Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Buffalo, NY; Denver, CO; Nashville, TN; Portland, OR; San José, CA; Santa Fe, NM; and the twin cities of Minnesota (Minneapolis and Saint Paul).

“As leaders in their communities, the participants in this network are advancing strategies to halt the forces that are pushing low-income people and people of color out of cities, while creating the conditions for our cities and communities to thrive,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink. “We hope this network will be an opportunity to sharpen these strategies, develop new and innovative ideas, and amplify what is working so that we can spread success across the nation.”

Each city has created teams of up to six local leaders, including local mayors and city councilmembers, senior city staff, and community leaders. Philadelphia’s team includes:

  • Eleanor Sharpe, Deputy Director, Department of Planning & Development, City of Philadelphia (lead applicant)
  • Eric Bodzin, Legislative Aide, Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez
  • Yvonne Boye, Senior Director, Office of Neighborhood and Economic Development, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
  • Nora Lichtash, Executive Director, Women’s Community Revitalization Project
  • Melissa Long, Director, Division of Housing and Community Development, City of Philadelphia
  • Beth McConnell, Policy Director, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations

The city teams will advance a range of strategies, including renter protections, community land trusts and community ownership models, commercial neighborhood stabilization, inclusionary zoning and other equitable development strategies. Participants will work to build the power, voice, and capacity of communities directly impacted by displacement in defining the challenges and advancing solutions.

Network activities will include virtual learning labs, individualized coaching sessions with national experts, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The network participants will first meet at the PolicyLink Equity Summit in Chicago, April 11-13, with one additional network gathering in Fall 2018.

Previous research conducted by PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) shows that reducing rent burdens, one of the main causes of displacement, would put $124 billion back in the pocketbooks of renters to spend in their local communities. Renters are the majority in the 100 largest cities in America, yet 51 percent are rent burdened (paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent). Over 60 percent of households led by women of color are rent burdened.

“Our goal is to identify strategies to create equitable, diverse and affordable neighborhoods,” said Eleanor Sharpe. “Working with this national team will help us leverage the assets that we have to create communities of choice.”

“Philadelphia has a broad network of housing and equity advocacy organizations with a long history of collaboration,” said Beth McConnell. “Our team will tap all these existing networks as we work to eliminate displacement.”

The All-In Cities initiative provides policy research, data, and capacity-building and implementation support to city governments and community coalitions as they develop and implement tailored policy solutions to create stronger cities for all. All-In Cities includes: policy research and development through the All-In Cities Policy Toolkit; data disaggregated by race/ethnicity, income, neighborhood, and other demographics through the National Equity Atlas (the partnership between PolicyLink and PERE); and place-based engagements and field building, including the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network.

About PolicyLink

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®. For more information, visit

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