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Are Rental Properties Our Biggest Problem?

Often referenced as such, but is it the biggest issue for Roxborough and Manayunk?

Patch frequently reports on civic and citizen groups rallying around the idea of taking back the neighborhood from rental properties. 

The Wissahickon Interested Citizens Association will face off next week in a zoning hearing to prevent a single-family home from becoming a multi-family unit.

In June the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment sided with neighbors on requests to change the zoning status on two local properties. The  was against turning a single-family home into a multiple-family property, while the  opposed a proposal to turn a property into a boarding house.

And the Coalition of Civics has for rental houses as one of its main objectives.

But is that the biggest issue that plagues these organizations within Roxborough and Manayunk? Do the loss of family homes cause the neighborhood to deplete or do situations within the area or Philadelphia as a whole cause people to leave?

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of rental homes in the comments.

Editor's note: The article was altered to include specifics on recent zoning cases involving Ridge Park and Wissahickon Neighbors civcs.

Debbie Thomas July 13, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Really some renters are a problem but it could be worse. At least the Roxborough/Manayunk area isn't riddled with Section 8 tenants. Take it from me, subsidized renters are far worse than college students. Ask residents in the lower Northeast (Wissinoming, Tacony, etc., they'll tell you.
Roxborough Area Man July 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Agreed - it is the college-students and young families that are instilling new life into what was a dying community. Many of those young people, as they "grow up" will become responsible property owners, and if you keep them a vital part of the community TODAY they will remain TOMORROW. Code enforcement is in EVERYONE'S interests, both homeowner-neighbor and renter. If you want a means to legally and responsibly impact rental properties there is your avenue.
Debbie Thomas July 13, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I agree. We have 3 young couples on my block who rented homes when they were going to college. They liked the area so much they decided to buy.
Louise Fischer July 13, 2012 at 04:45 PM
There is nothing wrong with renting properties, or using this means to make your living. What IS WRONG are bad property owners who just collect the rent, fail to maintain their properties, don't instruct their tenants on trash issues, or monitor activity at the rental property. Living away from home is a first time experience for lots of these tenants. They need to be made aware that they are moving into a residential area with many different family compositions up to elderly residents. As a Realtor, my company even had a push on at one time to convert the Manayunk renter into a Rox/Manayunk home owner. I would love to see more of this. We live in a very undervalued area.
Roxborough Area Man July 13, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Absentee landlords seem to be a unifying theme between pro- and anti- renters......what strategies can be legally employed to address this issue? It would be beneficial to both renters and owners (I have rented in the past from such a landlord and I undertand that particular circle of hell well). A good, proactive landlord will solve most of the anti-renter concerns.

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