Broad Street Brief: Recent Reports Detail Changes in Population Movement Patterns Due to COVID-19 

July 28, 2022

CITY HALL

Recent Reports Detail Changes in Population Movement Patterns Due to COVID-19

Data company Placer.ai, which works frequently with organizations like the Center City District, recently released a white paper detailing trends in population movement. They found that while Philadelphia’s population decreased during the first year and a half of the pandemic, it has since begun to increase again, and at a faster rate than other comparable cities. Notably, many millennials are choosing to relocate from New York to Philadelphia, as well as from surrounding suburbs. The study was conducted using cell phone location data.

Meanwhile, an analysis of census data that Apartment List published last week noted that the pandemic caused a contraction and subsequent expansion of the total number of households in the United States. This was likely caused by an inordinate number of young adults moving back home during the pandemic, followed a year later by those young adults moving back out on their own again.

Newly Proposed Construction Projects Throughout Philadelphia

While many Philadelphia offices still sit predominantly vacant due to employees working from home, the life sciences industry has been busy revitalizing workspaces in Center City. The most recent example comes from Breakthrough Properties, which recently announced its intention to build an extensive lab space at 23rd and Market.

Alterra Property Group intends to construct a new apartment building in West Philadelphia on 42nd and Chestnut. The building is planned to include 352 apartment units, 110 parking spaces, and sizable retail space. The location is beyond the often nebulous bounds of University City typically stretch and represents a growing interest in developing toward the area’s north and west.

Finally, the project that has been the talk of the town since it was first announced last week, the recently proposed 76 Place at 13th and Market, has drawn its fair share of both praise and criticism from some community advocates.

New Infusion of Funds Heading to Philadelphia’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is set to give $11.8 million to Philadelphia’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was founded during the pandemic to ameliorate the cost burden on renters and landlords. The funds will be directed immediately to help more than 2,600 Philadelphia households, and is therefore expected to last no longer than two weeks.

West Philadelphia Protest Encampment Ordered To Be Taken Down

The West Philadelphia protest encampment that was erected at 40th and Market earlier this month has been ordered to be taken down by a judge. The encampment is protesting the impending sale of the University City Townhomes, which is expected to displace 68 families who live there. While these families will be provided housing vouchers, many argue that this is insufficient, as increasingly many properties have chosen to refuse such vouchers.


Authors

Joseph Hill

Senior Principal, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

jhill@cozen.com

(215) 665-2065

Brianna A. Westbrooks

Policy Adviser, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

bwestbrooks@cozen.com

(215) 665-4757

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