Wednesday's article on the increase in renters in Philadelphia ("Home ownership declines in Philadelphia") quotes Center City District president Paul Levy as saying that the demand for renting comes from four sources: newly formed households, students, young workers, and would-be buyers waiting out the recession.
Omitted was the largest segment of the city's rental population: lower-income households and individuals, who are largely permanently housed in rented units. Renting is not solely a temporary decision for those potentially moving up and out. For many lower-income households, it is a long-term housing solution. These renters require access to affordable housing with good transportation and quality services. It is these poorer, long-term residents who should be the focus of supports for the rental housing market, not the affluent transients who treat Philadelphia as an upscale playground while they sow their wild oats.
Department of Sociology