Photo essay: Philly protesters rally against housing injustice, demand affordable housing for all

Organizers with One PA say they want banks and local and federal governments to fix the housing crisis they created.

Housing advocates from across the United States were chanting “Tax the rich,” and singing “Rent is too damn high.” (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

Activists blocked the streets around Philadelphia City Hall on Saturday to bring attention to evictions and housing injustices, and to demand affordable housing for all. The rally was organized by the Center for Popular Democracy and its Pennsylvania affiliates, One PA and Make the Road PA, as part of the 2023 People’s Convention. The protest comes after the third eviction-related shooting in Philadelphia in the last four months. Organizers demanded the federal government invest in green social housing to address the climate-induced housing crisis.

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A person holds a sign that reads
Protestors outside City Hall held signs that said “Protect tenants,” “House everyone,” and “Decommodify housing.” (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)
People hold signs as they march, demanding affordable housing for all.
Housing advocates from across the United States were chanting “Tax the rich,” and singing “Rent is too damn high.” (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)
Patty Torres speaks into the microphone. Maria Gracia, seated at the center of the stage, and her family look on.
Maria Gracia, a tenant-organizer with Make the Road PA, seated in the center of the stage, said her family’s home in Kensington has mold, mildew, leaks, and exposed electrical wires. Her family held up photos of their crumbling walls to the crowd. Their housing issues are all too common, said Patty Torres, organizing director with Make the Road PA. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)
People march with signs in support of affordable housing.
Organizers demanded more tenant protections. Steve Paul said they want federal and local governments to seriously address homelessness and end the corporate control of the housing market.
Darlene Formen speaks into a microphone while surrounded by people.
Darlene Formen, tenant and organizer with Save the UC Townhomes, the group that fought to stay in their affordable housing units in West Philadelphia, led a chant in front of the moving crowd. Philadelphia and the landlord struck a deal to put 70 new affordable housing units on the original property, but Formen said, “We have to make sure that they do what they said they are going to do.” (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)
People march in front of City Hall in Philadelphia, demanding affordable housing for all.
“From New York, Virginia, Maryland, to Philadelphia, we’re all recognizing that there’s a global housing crisis,” said Steve Paul, executive director of One PA, a housing, environmental, and labor advocacy organization and one of the organizers. He said banks, including Blackstone, and the federal government need to fix the crisis they perpetuated. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

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