Depending on who you talk to, uttering the word "gentrification" in any city either incites a shudder or applause. Either way, it's happening in Philly in about 15 percent of its neighborhoods, according to a recent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The researchers defined neighborhoods as "gentrifiable" if they had a median household income below the citywide median at the start of the study period, which was from 2000 to 2013.
The study found that the rate of gentrification is most intense around Center City and the neighborhoods surrounding University of Pennsylvania and Temple University, City Lab reports. The homes in these areas are valued at $238,049; in weakly gentrifying areas the median home value is $70,316.
But is gentrification hurting or helping Philadelphians? Er, both. The report found that in general, residents who stay in gentrifying neighborhoods actually add about 11 points to their credit score and tend to stay put. But about 20 percent of those who can't afford to pay their neighborhood's growing prices tend to move to areas of lower median income. The researchers write, "Low-score movers (below 580 or having no scores) who generally have shorter credit histories or who were hit harder during the Great Recession, are more likely to move to neighborhoods with lower incomes, higher crime rates, schools with poorer performance, and/or higher unemployment rates."
· The Closest Look Yet at Gentrification and Displacement [City Lab]
· Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia [Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia]