Why does Philadelphia need rent control?

By PRCC Research, Nov. 23, 2020

Rent control is a low cost & immediate way to address housing affordability in Philadelphia. Compared to other housing policies, rent control can be implemented relatively quickly and cheaply. Effective administration of rent control requires only the establishment of a Rent Board, which can be self-funded through a modest per-unit fee structure. Pennsylvania is also one of nine states where rent control is not prohibited. This means the City of Philadelphia can enact rent control now, without waiting for state or federal action.

There are more than 267,000 households in the private rental market in Philly that could benefit from rent control. That’s over 45 percent of households in the city. Rent control regulations would predominantly benefit rent-burdened households and low-to-middle-income households. Over half (56%) of the households that would see their rents stabilized under comprehensive rent control currently pay more than a third of their income on housing. And, the vast majority (86%) of households who would benefit have a low-to-moderate household income (at or below 120% of median income). Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the households that could benefit from rent control are low-income (at or below 80% of median income).