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City Council Votes to Extend 'Gentrification Protection' Bill

The bill would extend low-income, long-term homeowners' cap on property taxes

City Council voted yesterday to pass a bill that would extend the Longtime Owner Occupants Program (LOOP), also known as the "gentrification protection" program.

First approved in 2013, LOOP limits property tax increases for low-income, long-time homeowners for 10 years. The new bill, introduced by councilmembers Kenyatta Johnson and Mark Squilla in January, would extend the cap for the homeowner's life or until he or she moves away.

In a Newsworks article, Johnson said he introduced the bill in response to his constituents in South Philly who are worried about being "pushed out of their communities."

In order to qualify for the program, the long-time owner's household income must be less than or equal to 50 percent of the area's median Income. The bill states, "For any tax year after the first ten years, the long-time owner-occupant must qualify as a low-income longtime owner-occupant."

The bill now goes to Mayor Jim Kenney for approval.