Legal and illegal rental property has proliferated across the entire Lower Northeast section of the city. Housing code enforcement by L&I lacks any serious teeth to solve the quality of life problems that is created when the rental quotient in a neighborhood increases.
Namely that quality of life problem is slumlords whose only consistent obligation they care most about are renting to people who pay cash and have a pulse and extend little responsibility beyond that.
Slumlords tend to provide most of the privately-owned shelter for Philadelphia’s criminal classes.
This has now enveloped the Tacony neighborhood to such an extent that residents are throwing in the towel.
Take the case late this past Saturday night [DN] as the Phila. Police Dept. was taking down a robbery suspect wielding a 20-gauge shotgun…
“We’re the new badlands,” said Jeff Gannon, 53, a retired construction contractor, who was seated next to Grogan at the bar, drinking Buds and smoking Camels while Grogan stuck with ice water.
“I’ve been living a block from here on Marsden Street since 1992, when I never locked my doors,” Gannon said. “Now, I got three dogs, six registered guns, three locks on my front door. And to think, I moved up here to get out of Kensington.”
The twist here is that vast parts of Kensington are improving in both crime levels and property values. Homes in the eastern and southern stretches of Kensington already cost more to buy than a typical Tacony airlite.