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Bridging the Gap: The Widening Disparity in Safe Housing Access

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TD Bank
Courtesy of TD Bank Courtesy of TD Bank

The disparity between those with and those without safe and secure housing grows wider by the day, despite it being fundamental to all aspects of our lives, including our financial, physical, and mental health. Too many Philadelphians struggle to afford housing for themselves and their children — and yet there are ways to create solutions for these families in crisis.  

Philadelphia has boasted lower rent and housing prices than other major U.S cities for years, but during the past decade, it has shifted from a shrinking city to a growing one — increasing the demand for housing and housing cost burdens and pricing Philadelphia’s residents out of their neighborhoods. Now, the path to American homeownership – or even to affordable rental housing — is fraught with difficulties, particularly for Black and Hispanic communities

At TD, we care deeply about the city of Philadelphia and its residents, and we believe that everyone should have access to a safe and affordable place to call home. That’s why we are committed to being a part of the solution. We support organizations and institutions that are on the frontlines, piloting ideas and programs that focus on the many immediate and complex housing needs in our community.  

This past Spring, TD announced two new relationships supporting key housing and homeownership initiatives in Philadelphia, including a $2.5 million financial commitment to Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Non-profit Preservation Initiative (NPPI) and committing as a cornerstone partner to launch CONVERGENCE Philadelphia. With TD’s financial support, LISC Philadelphia will assist non-profit building owners in preserving and protecting 650 publicly assisted affordable rental housing units in neighborhoods across the city, and as a member of CONVERGENCE, TD will work alongside housing counseling agencies, realtors, title companies, financial institutions and more to identify and combat homeownership barriers and address homeownership inequity, particularly for Black and Hispanic Philadelphians.  

Homeownership inequity impacts future generations and can negatively influence generational wealth for years to come. In Philadelphia, this means that the legacy of building wealth through homeownership may be lost to children and families whose lives are overburdened by the stresses of rising costs, and other barriers. CONVERGENCE is taking an important step by bringing together a network of housing leaders, community advocates, and industry stakeholders to help close the homeownership gap for Blacks and Hispanics in Philadelphia and work to create meaningful change for the city’s future generations. And TD is fully committed to these goals.

TD has also established a relationship with the Philadelphia Housing Authority to help qualified Housing Choice Voucher program participants move from renting to owning a home and we are a participating lender in Philly First Home, a homebuyer assistance grant of up to $10,000 or 6% of the home’s purchase price (whichever is lower) offered by the City of Philadelphia for first-time homebuyers. In addition, since 2005, TD has supported non-profits that are leading the way in protecting and enhancing existing affordable housing units and building new ones, through our annual Housing for Everyone Grant Program. To date, this program has helped approximately 4,000 Philadelphia residents with $1.5MM in donations to nine affordable housing initiatives participating in the program. TD is committed to increasing our support for nonprofit housing counseling agencies and capacity-building initiatives for all nonprofits that are doing critical work in our neighborhoods, and we are calling on our corporate and philanthropic partners to increase their support in all these areas as well, including: preserving affordable rental housing, increasing homeownership opportunities and raising operational support for housing counseling agencies.

TD works to support our communities because people matter, place matters, and Philadelphia matters. Our efforts speak to our ‘all-in’ commitment to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, and our work to address systemic inequities by helping to open doors to affordable housing. We look forward to continuing to expand our efforts with non-profits, industry organizations, residents, and community leaders, and to making strides to secure housing for all. 

Join us in working to close the disparity gap in our community — help us bring together a stronger, bigger network of collaborators and community advocates, and find out what you can do to be a part of creating sustainable solutions around access to affordable housing for the Black and Hispanic Philadelphians.