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Proposal to protect Philly tenants from unjust eviction may get vote this month

Calling on City Council to vote in favor of a bill requiring landlords to have just cause before evicting a tenant, demonstrators rally Thursday outside City Hall in Philadelphia. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Calling on City Council to vote in favor of a bill requiring landlords to have just cause before evicting a tenant, demonstrators rally Thursday outside City Hall in Philadelphia. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

An organization is putting pressure on Philadelphia City Council to pass a measure protecting tenants from unjust evictions.

The “good cause” proposal offers strict guidelines about what can — and cannot — trigger an eviction. Too many people are facing a threat of being thrown out of their homes as neighborhoods gentrify, said Margaret Nursten of the Philadelphia Tenants Union.

“The ‘good cause’ bill basically outlaws no-cause evictions, which is currently what is happening right now,” she said. “You can evict a tenant for no reason, or you can evict a tenant for any reason at all.”

Current regulations are too ambiguous, she said.

“We think that leaves too much of a gray area for discriminatory practice, instead of naming the reason you want to remove a tenant from a home in a gentrifying neighborhood,” she said.

A spokesman for Councilman Curtis Jones, who sponsored the legislation, said Jones hopes to have the bill up for a final vote before council members begin their summer recess.

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