Task force addresses eviction crisis while considering both tenants, landlords

24,000 evictions were filed last year, not including illegal ones

Pat Loeb
June 26, 2018 - 2:41 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia task force has developed a plan for reducing evictions in the city, an occurrence officials say is at crisis levels. 

The plan takes the novel approach of considering landlords' struggles as well as tenants.

The task force has been meeting since September 2017, addressing the startling figure that 24,000 evictions were filed last year in Philadelphia — and that doesn't include illegal evictions, which could more than double the number. 

Members developed 17 recommendations, including easier access to prevention services for tenants, rent subsidies and legal protections.

But it also advised a fund for landlords so they can keep units up to snuff. Office of Homeless Services Director Liz Hersh said one of the chief reasons for eviction — non-payment of rent — often occurs when tenants withhold rent due to poor conditions.

"The other side of the coin is that most of our property owners in Philadelphia are mom and pop, one to four units, and often they can't afford major capital expenses," she said.

Hersh added that the city is already piloting the idea.

"We are trying to get as close to a win-win situation as possible," she said.