March 31: Philly Planning wins national award | PA community land trusts join forces | Philly napkin sketches

As national housing inventory reaches historic lows, new research from Pew Charitable Trusts confirms that lower-income Americans are experiencing a dramatic hike in their housing costs. “Lower-income renters are spending nearly half their income on rent, while upper-income groups spend about 15 percent on rent,” Pew’s Erin Currier told Vox. Geographically, housing shortages and price increases are most severe in the country’s most desirable urban job centers, which helps explain the intense class stratification of who is benefitting from America’s urban renaissance, writes Matthew Yglesias.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission is the winner of the Ameican Planning Association’s 2016 National Planning Excellence Award for Planning Agency, reports Melissa Romero. “The Philadelphia City Planning Commission was recognized for its efforts to engage the public. The award highlighted the commission’s coordinating of the Registered Community Organization (RCO) process, which the commission is in the middle of a restructuring. It was also applauded for its ongoing city comprehensive plan, Philadelphia2035.”

Pennsylvania community land trusts are forming a statewide coalition, reports Eleanor Klibanoff. With 10 participating groups from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, and Centre County, the Pennsylvania Community Land Trust Collaborative will advocate for land trusts and related affordable housing policies, and facilitate information sharing between individual city land trusts. 

AIA wants your best napkin sketches of Philly for their annual Sketch Showcase. Winning sketches will be featured in an exhibit during the national AIA Convention here in Philadelphia between May 19-22.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals bought Milkboy’s building at 1100 Chestnut Street, reports Jacob Adelman. In the middle of the Center City CMX-5 zone, the two-story building looks like a bit of a sitting duck, though the bar and music venue does have 15 years left on its lease. Milkboy is in the process of opening another location at 4th and South Street. 

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