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Gentrification placing hardships on African American community's:

North, West, Point Breeze residents feel effects of gentrification

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Obama's stimulus money not getting to the inner city home owners. The white flight to the suburbs, left decaying properties that were relined by banks. Residents were unable to receive standard loans, when the loans did come in the predatory and helped to cause the housing crisis nationally.

And gentrification isn’t something that’s taking place just in Point Breeze. Residents of West, North and Southwest Philadelphia have equal cause for concern.


Mayor Nutter made a announcement that Development Permitting Process improvements to the permitting process stated it will make it more efficient, clear and affordable.Community residents, business owners and small contractors to take advantage of came out last week, to late for those in the community to play catch up.

Background by Larry Miller, Philadelphia Tribune Staff Writer:

Long-time residents of Point Breeze in South Philadelphia have argued that urban gentrification is happening to them in the worst way.

The process of gentrification is defined as “the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.”

It is a process the residents of Point Breeze are deeply concerned about as they have witnessed the urban renewal taking place around them.

To them, in the not too distant future, a community of poor African Americans and whites that was allowed to deteriorate in the past, will become a patchwork of trendy eateries, upscale shops and luxury homes.

They said when that happens, Point Breeze, one of Philadelphia’s oldest African-American communities, will be gone. Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze, a growing anti-gentrification movement in South Philadelphia, is fighting to stop market rate housing from pushing out poor and working-class families.

They told The Tribune this week that an influx of federal stimulus cash had not been allocated to help them rebuild their homes but to re-develop the community, raise the property taxes and eventually price them out.

And gentrification isn’t something that’s taking place just in Point Breeze. Residents of West, North and Southwest Philadelphia have equal cause for concern. “The Cecil B. Moores, David Richardsons and Leon Sullivans are gone,” said Wayne Rahman, president of the Sister Clara Muhammad Community Development Corporation. “Our primary concerns are with the lack of political leverage within the affected communities and the strategic processes with the Philadelphia Planning Commission and the Re-development Authority. There is not enough participation from the South Philadelphia African-American community. There is no open door policy regarding their plans. Point Breeze, the 30th Ward, is the mother of gentrification for South Philadelphia. These are some serious issues.”

Rahman said the members’ concern is an influx of federal stimulus dollars funneled through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

“This stimulus money comes at a time when we’re very concerned about gentrification in the neighborhood,” said Betty Buford, president of Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze. “At both 1741 Federal St. and 23rd and Alter Street, residential properties are on the market for $300,000. At 1737 Manton St., a penthouse is being built that will be in the high $300,000’s. How can low income people stay in Point Breeze with those houses coming up all around them? In just one year, from 2008 to 2009, the median home sale price in Point Breeze has gone up 45.7 percent or $29,500.”

Buford said RDA and the City Planning Commission were going to have a meeting that the community only got a whiff of. They waited to see if the community would be notified, but that didn’t happen. At an Oct. 6 meeting, it was made clear that community involvement was non-existent, Buford said.

 READ MORE by Larry Miller, Philadelphia Tribune



I think what this situation really boils down to is anti-white sentiment among some black members of the Point Breeze community. If you look at Grad Hospital, the property taxes are still low and it has already been gentrified. I'm not just talking about the new construction properties with the tax abatements either. Empty lots in Point Breeze are having houses built on them and run-down/abandoned houses are being rehabbed. These new/improved properties are good for everyone's home value, and they also make the block look a lot nicer. Plus, it helps get rid of the crack houses. Do those of you who want Point Breeze to stay the way it is really like seeing crack houses and empty lots filled with trash? Do you like living in a neighborhood with lots of violent crime, with which some blocks in Point Breeze are infested? I don't think so. If you do, you're nuts. New businesses coming to the area is a GOOD THING. They provide jobs, local places to shop, and help pump money back into the community. they also INCREASE YOUR PROPERTY VALUE. Some people say they are worried about black businesses being shut down due to gentrification. I don't see many businesses in Point Breeze period. If anything, the influx of people into the neighborhood will help current business owners as well as any new ones. The benefits of urban renewal far outweigh any misconceived disadvantages. Those of you who are against it are either misinformed, or you just DON'T WANT WHITE PEOPLE MOVING INTO YOUR NEIGHBORHOODS. There is no place for that kind of bigotry and narrow-mindedness in Philadelphia today. Do us all a favor and get over it.


The problem is not whites moving in. The problem is there are many black property owners who were denied loans to fix up properties because of predatory lending/red-lining. Now that those practices have been lifted, eminent domain is being abused to STEAL properties. My aunt had her properties STOLEN w/ the help of a shady politician. She had good credit & no leans, yet she couldn't get loans to fix them up due to predatory lending. Once they decided to stretch University City to the "Bottom" of West Philly, they took her properties & rented them out. Once the banks finally decided to give loans for W-Philly it was too late. Some developer took her properties. It’s disgusting! She'd being trying to get loans for renovation for years. Each bank was prepared to give her money until she hit them w/ the location...West Philadelphia. Then they'd say...We don't give loans for that area. Meanwhile, some mastermind dipped in and used eminent domain to take her properties.

Who cares if white people want West Philly back? Just don't use slimy politics and schemes to STEAL it!


I read your comments and I have to say that being an african american and a long time resident of the point breeze area it dose bother me a bit to see the same whites that if it was the other way around would put their homes up for sale if a black person moved next to them. These same white people who are moving into the point breeze area are not friendly at all, they hardly speak. Now as I mentioned earlier had this been the other way around those same white folk would be ready for war. But you move into our communities without any problems !!! We dont like it but we dont bother you!! A testament to our true nature. Can you say the same? So dont insult us by mentioning the negative things in our communities, your superiority complex is what makes you unwelcome in the first place. And although not as apparent, white communities are havens for all kinds of drug use. so get off of your high horse before people really start to get annoid.

Yeah Okay

How do you have your properties stolen? I am a single black female who buys properties and I am looking in point breeze and west philly and I have not been denied anything. I am actually considering buying a home in point breeze. I see a lot of middle class blacks moving into these areas also. So why are people making it about race? If she was a good property owner, how can they just take her properties. If you go to the area around West South Street that was gentrified, there are still tons of long-term black homeowners who live amongst the "yuppies" that have moved in and they are co-mingling just fine.

For a group of people that

For a group of people that are so concerned with saving point breeze, I didn’t see you out there on April 10, 2010 cleaning up the city with a huge number of participants. As a black women who has lived in Point Breeze for a number of years, you should be ashamed at how you guys sat back and watched the area dilapidate instead of truly being “concerned” when things first started getting out of hand. Someone who is “concerned” would help the elderly people who can’t afford contractors keep up with their properties and they would clean-up lots like the Point Breeze Pioneers do. Why can’t you be like the Newbold Neighbors and have Saturday morning clean-ups, free yoga and wellness classes, and gardening day, etc. The only people who will follow you damn sure are not us homeowners. Your lies to people that they will somehow be displaced are unfair and deceptive. There are plenty of low-cost $30,000-$60,000 (mortgage of only $300- $600 a month) properties with good brick and stud structures that only need sheetrock and updated electrical work that low-income residents can find and fix up like my husband and I did. Instead of disabling people and telling them they are too poor to do it themselves, let’s help them find financial backing for properties that need renovating, which will help keep them in the neighborhood. If they are solely looking to section 8 for their housing needs, instead of doing it themselves than of course they will eventually be displaced when fed-up homeowners decide to sell. Please respond and let me know what you think. BTW, I will also post this online and a few of us will be waiting to see what your response will be to helping these people fix up properties rather than wait for hand me outs.

Do you really think that the

Do you really think that the whites moving into North Philly are going to even be able to survive? Are you that naive to believe there is going to be no tension at all if whites move into a neighborhood that is predominately black? You can decide to move into the neighborhood all you want; however, the consequences of such a move may be more grave than you initially believe. Where do you think the poor will move? They won't move anywhere, because they can't afford anything else. So both races will have to coexist in the same environment. Of course, this will not happen because of the ignorance each race. There will be racial tension and most likely violent crimes will occur as a result. You can't force your way into a neighborhood or culture that has been segregated for 50 years. Segregation may seem to be negative and non-ideal; however, the truth of the matter remains that segregation of races preserved one's culture and was a means to cope with the adversity present within one's community. For blacks, especially, being segregated wasn't their choice but was forced upon them because of white flight. Let me ask the "New Order" what the purpose of moving into North Philly has for you. What is the purpose of moving into a place that has been identified as an extremely dangerous ghetto, when you can live anywhere else in the city that is less dangerous and more similar to your socioeconomic status? You (white people) are asking for trouble because you are forcing yourself into a place where you are not wanted. If blacks moved into your predominately white neighborhood you would be outraged. Do you see how there is double bind here for the blacks? One can never get rid of poverty within a community because because of our capitalistic economy. If everyone had the same socioeconomic status this country would be considered communist. Therefore, poverty will always be present within a society. The poor and the rich cannot coexist due to the ignorance associated with these classes. Putting the rich and the poor next to each other is a recipe for disaster. Are you that naive to see that this is a dangerous situation? Gentrification is a wonderful hypothetical theory but is causing the same issue that was present 50 years ago. You can't force two different socioeconomic classes to live in the same neighborhood because it will cause a natural rift within the community. It will cause these two classes to segregate into their respective socioeconomic group. Thus, gentrification doesn't create the theoretical homogeneous society that is thought to be ideal. In essence, gentrification creates segregation in a society which was already segregated to begin with. It is as if gentrification is creating the "housing projects" on a larger scale. Housing projects were used to segregate the extreme poor and gentrification is going to do the same thing the poor because of the inability for the poor and the rich to coexist. The only way to alleviate segregation due to logical rationale is not through force or through the implementation of whites into a community, but rather, through the alleviation of social status or through the peaceful accompaniment of races. Obviously the alleviation of social status is impossible due to the capitalistic nature of the United States. Therefore, the peaceful coinciding of races is the only other alternative. This is only possible through the mitigation of ignorance present in each race. This is up to people, but people are naturally ignorant themselves, which is why the general coinciding of different races in harmony isn't possible. Each race, particularly the black race wants to preserve its culture because of the hardships that have been placed upon their race throughout hundreds of years. Whites have no sense of culture because whites are a mixture of many cultures and are too worried about their wealth and social status within society in order to get ahead in the world. Whites live their life according to how the majority of society says one is supposed to live their life. However, blacks are more worried about preserving the culture of their race and sticking together. Yes, alot of blacks want to be successful, but in doing so, they also want to keep a hold of their heritage. They want to remember where they came from and who they truly are at the heart. They want to keep their tradition preserved. Today, society has no sense of tradition but is worried about their own self-preservation. In sum, gentrification will have the opposite effect of what is expected to occur. Yes, the area will look better but deep down there will be more issues than there were before gentrification occurred. It will create more tension and crime than the "ghetto" had before.


you're wrong... and an idiot

Point Breeze was originally

Point Breeze was originally Jewish, German & Irish until the late 1960s. Crime became so bad they moved out and it became completely segregated with blacks. In the 70s, heroine wrecked havoc. In the 80s, crack did worse. Now open-minded, non-bigoted whites are moving back. Your homes will be worth more, you can sell it for 3x what it's really worth and move to a better neighborhood. The renters will just have to get lost. Home owners come first. And most crimes are caused against black males by black males in these ghettos. 85% of them. know why? cuz us whites will snitch! don't mess witn us!


I think this is a good idea. It's not about white or black it's about who has the money and wants to uplift the community.

I moved into a mostly black

I moved into a mostly black neighborhood and I am not bothered. But they do try to break into everybody's houses, including mine. Doesn't matter if it's 3 in the afternoon or the middle of the night when they know people are home. Brazen young criminals won't stop us from saving point breeze. it will be the most diverse philly neighborhood in less than 10 years.

Re:Point Breeze Was Originally

I was born and raised in South Philly when everyone co-mingled from every race. It was the best upbringing I ever had and I do not regret it today. I am open-minded, not prejudice, and I would be raised in South Philly all over again if it was diverse like when I grew up. Oh and I am a black a female with half Irish and obviously black children. I live in the burbs in over half mil home and with no diversity of children. I would love to return to South Philly in a diverse area and not where one race dominates another.
Now, with regards to Mr. or Ms. Point Breeze Was Originally. Don't ever forget and regardless what color you are, SNITCHES GET STITCHES, BUT IN TODAY'S SOCIETY, YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT SOUTH PHILLY, YOU WILL BE BURIED, THREATENED, OR WOUNDED. So to that I say, do not throw stones or bricks when you are living in a glass house. We know from history that when it came to crime, murder, drugs, etc., it is the White man's mode of operandi. You guys no doubt rank top in being behind some of the biggest crimes out here. Every race has their MO and I am not sure if you are educated with a degree or not, but if you look into your history of crimes you will almost always find someone white or shall I say a white man behind where there is prospects to make a lot of money. You embezzle, you rape, you steal, you no doubt do drugs and justify your working and family life reasons for that. Not all white men do this obviously, but the criminal mentality are the ones I am speaking about. You are even a part of the bigger trade of human trafficking because at the end of the day your mentality is you can have what you want when you want.
You guys are right it is not about color so do not go there pointing fingers. No one race is better than another whether you want to believe it or not. We all have flaws, assholes, criminals, and jerks. So get over that and stop trying to put yourselves above one another. I went there about white people because of Mr. or Ms. Point Breeze Was Originally. Who cares what it was back than. I remember growing up around Italians who were from Sicily and had Italian friends who you could not call white or else they would be ready to fight, I know Irishmen who are exactly what they are Irish and not white because white is like you are a mutt, you have a little of this and a little of that, I know Germans who have their thoughts in not wanting to be called white, so LIGJ (LET IT GO JOE AND MOVE ON TO MAKE THINGS BETTER) Who cares about race at the end of the day. Let us clean up the garbage, improve the appearance of homes and get children of all races playing with one another because that upbringing of co-existing with other nationalities did me good and my thinking is not ignorant.


So glad to see the white folks back, they have been gone for fifty years.

To: The Philadelphia Inquirer
News Paper
400 N Broad Street
Philadelphia Pa. 19102

From: Thomas J. Barnes January 24, 2010
1512 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia Pa. 19146


(Information of immediate interest)

Dear Editor: I’ve been writing this story for quite a number of years, and now (finally,) I can bring it to some form of conclusion, it not quite finished yet, because no news paper has written anything about me since about nineteen ninety eight, and the story was printed in the South Philly Review News Paper a small limited circulation local paper… The story never changed and continues to this very day. Over the years, I would sometimes write to the Philadelphia Daily News Paper with my complaints; no one ever responded and I thought that all was lost, until I saw Anna Verna coming out of the fire house at twentieth and federal streets on Election Day back in November of last year.

It’s was during this time, that I had received a phone call from a retired Philadelphia Police Detective enquiring as to who and why anyone would want to black list me and who had that much power… I wrote the letter to her entitled (A Thorn) at that time…

My story is a little complicated and woven with real life human interest events, that involve the conflicting forces of good and evil, right and wrong; it’s a drama between God and Satan. A Citizen and City Hall…

A news paper can-not contain it all… It has to be in a book, but a news paper is where it starts. I will tell stories about how it feels to be black listed (A person disapproved of and is to be punished or boycotted.)

I will tell a story about a city councilperson so evil that it would send a shiver of fear up your spine to think that a dollar meant more to her than the health and welfare of most of the people on the east coast and even into Canada…I will tell a story and give the names of judges who participated in the (black listing.) the stripping away of all my wealth and possessions. Everything that I say is documented somewhere, except maybe at domestic relations court, 34 South 11th Street court room 9-2nd floor where the Honorable Judge Edward R. Summers stated that the transcript from my first two appearance before him had been lost. I will show you how he took my wife of twenty years and most of my stuff at that time...

I will show how The Honorable Joseph D. O’keefe at Orphan’s Court Division room 300 at City Hall and his Court appointed Master James M. Tyler ESQ of Schubert and Bellwoar Law Office took a house from my late father’s estate for the price 65,500.00
And within a month tried to sell this same house for one hundred and twenty thousand
Dollars; I will tell a story about a family torn apart by jealousy and greed…

I will tell a story about being a retired police officer and stripped of my ability to earn a living in my chosen career, due to a lie told to and by a judge, possibly judge Summers at domestic relations court on 11th Street; with his imposing of a domestic abuse order that took away my gun permit, and the kangaroo court case held at the criminal justice center across the street from city hall, Judge Boroughs, I believe was her name took my gun because she didn’t (like the language in the letter) that I wrote to my mother.

I will tell a story about how the court system dismantled the third largest black owned corporation that existed in this city during the late seventies, it was owned by Verband Investors, and was called the Olympia Ballroom, it was at 52nd and Baltimore avenue; it had a catering license a liquor license and a (gaming license.) I can tell the story of how the movers and shakers with their connections at city hall and the orphan court claimed that the corporation had no insurance to pay off its debts; that is until Judge O’keefe made his inquiry into the case in 2006 and then made a decree in 2007 that all mortgages in question had been marked satisfied. I sent him a letter inquiring as to his part in the theft of my father’s house, his estate; the judge never responded. They just took it all…

All this trouble because Anna Verna was trying to deliver South Philadelphia to the movers and shakers, and I stood in her way with my chain saws, innocently cutting down trees, trying to save the houses of the people from the ailanthus, the tree of heaven… See www.ailanthus on MSN or Yahoo.com

Well that’s the story, do you want the scoop?