Philadelphia City Councilman Darrell Clarke has introduced a new bill in the City Council that would stop the building of any more off-campus housing for Temple students in North Philadelphia and this issue needs to be addressed.
In the midst of an economic downturn that was instigated by a failing housing market, Philadelphia officials see the solution to problems as preventing the construction of housing geared towards students at Temple. With the excuse of students being “out of control,” Clarke’s proposal will stunt job creation in Philadelphia by mitigating construction and associated jobs.
Temple students live in the neighborhoods surrounding campus for several reasons and their benefits to the community are remarkable. Walking through the neighborhood west of Broad Street, you see development of new houses that would have been unthinkable a few short years ago. These new houses are really helping to clean up a neighborhood and community that has been riddled with crime and a lack of development in recent years. Temple has spurred development in parts of the city that would, otherwise, be in states of disarray.
On the tax revenue side, Philadelphia greatly benefits from these new homes and residents because of an increased tax-base. In a city that is so strapped for cash that it had to institute rolling brownouts of fire stations last summer, how could someone support eliminating an expanded tax base? Looming reassessment will also increase property values, increasing tax revenues and helping locals who may be concerned about declining property values in the city. Limiting student housing will cause an unprecedented rise in the cost of rent much higher than fair-market values.
If Clarke cares so much about the North Philadelphia community, why would he be willing to stop the expansion of off-campus housing and replace it with more drug corners, abandoned homes, vacant lots and a less-safe community? In supporting this legislation, Clarke is supporting the elimination of jobs in the construction sector, an increased level of crime in the neighborhoods surrounding Temple and increasing the financial strain on Temple students who wish to live off-campus by triggering an increase in rent prices.
President, Temple College Republicans