Middle neighborhoods are neither the poorest nor the wealthiest neighborhoods in a city, typically experiencing neither precipitous decline nor rapid appreciation. In many cities, they account for a significant share of residents and are reasonably affordable to middle income households. This research brief examines conditions and trends in Philadelphia’s middle neighborhoods differentiated by their racial, ethnic, and national origin makeup. A deeper understanding of the dynamics at play in different types of middle neighborhoods can help guide policy and investment approaches to shore up the inherent strength in these areas, and also head off decline that could potentially diminish not only residents’ financial health and neighborhood quality of life, but also Philadelphia’s overall wellbeing.
Reinvestment Fund contributed to a new book titled On the Edge: America’s Middle Neighborhoods. Published by The American Assembly, a collection of authors present new evidence indicating that a category of neighborhoods exists in many cities and surrounding areas that planners and policymakers have neglected. These “middle neighborhoods” are generally affordable neighborhoods with acceptable levels of public safety and schools, but they are in danger of falling into decline if left to market forces. A shrinking middle class, the suburbanization of jobs, obsolete housing styles, and a decline in homeownership rates clouds the future of these middle neighborhoods. Written by Ira Goldstein, William Schrecker and Jacob L. Rosch, our chapter in the publication looks at the demographics and characteristics of middle neighborhoods in select legacy cities. For more on the book, visit middleneighborhoods.org.
Presentation by Ira Goldstein given at the “Philadelphia’s Vital Neighborhoods: Taking a Closer Look at Why Middle-Income Markets are Critical to Our City’s Future” convening hosted by Neighborhoods Now. The presentation offers an approach to understanding how to identify and deploy resources to the city of Philadelphia’s vital, middle-market neighborhoods in an effort to preserve the stability and enhance attractiveness to existing and new Philadelphia residents.
Reinvestment Fund was named the Asset Manager of the Year by the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group (GSG), an independent umbrella organization for nations working to catalyze impact investment and entrepreneurship to benefit people and the planet.
In honoring Reinvestment Fund, GSG recognized our successful $50 million bond offering, which reached traditional capital markets for low-income community development.
This July, longtime community members were able to move into their new homes in Mount Holly, NJ. TRF Development Partners helped craft a resolution to a conflict between the township and residents who were displaced by the demolition of 300 homes in favor of new construction, market rate housing. Central to our development plan for the Parker Green subdivision is the integration of new families with existing residents in a mixed-income community.
The community had previously filed a lawsuit that made its way to the Supreme Court docket in 2014; but the Parker Green plan and the resulting settlement agreement led to the withdrawal of the lawsuit. Construction is underway on additional units of affordable housing, which will be complete in late 2016.
Fund for Quality received a $15 million grant from the William Penn Foundation today. The Fund for Quality is a local initiative that provides capital and planning services for the expansion of high-quality early childhood education facilities in Philadelphia, particularly for families with low incomes. In addition to the grant funds available to high-quality providers, Reinvestment Fund has committed up to $7.65 million in loan capital from its network of 850 investors, to be used for facility expansion. The Fund for Quality began in 2014 with an initial $4.6 million grant from the William Penn Foundation and an additional $1.5 million in capital from Reinvestment Fund. The Fund for Quality is operated by Reinvestment Fund and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) to increase the availability and accessibility of high-quality early learning opportunities throughout the city. The Fund for Quality helps high quality centers serve more children in current sites and open new sites in areas of high need.
Community residents and local leaders gathered today to celebrate the opening of the ShopRite of Howard Park, a 67,000 square-foot full-service new supermarket. With the store’s opening, the neighborhood marks the end of more than a decade without easy access to a supermarket for local residents. The neighborhood is identified as having inadequate access to healthy food by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and The Reinvestment Fund.