The UC Townhomes is a 70 unit Section 8 Subsidy Based Project housing development located at 3900-90 Market St. in Philadelphia, PA. Built in 1983, the townhomes are located within the boundaries of the West Philadelphia neighborhood known as the Black Bottom, an historically black neighborhood largely displaced in the late 1960s through the City government use of eminent domain to make way for what is now known as “University City.” The townhomes, with land bought from the city for $1 after the Rizzo administration found itself in federal court for housing discrimination in locating section 8 sites, were built and are still owned by IBID Associates, a subsidiary of the Altman Group.
On July 8 2021, owner Brett Altman informed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that it would not renew it’s federal tax subsidy and would put the property up for sale on July 8, 2022. Local business news reporting estimated the sale price at upwards of $100m.
UC Townhomes tenants were given notice that they would have to move by July 8th, 2022 but as of August 2022 many have not received a housing voucher from HUD to begin looking for a new place to live. The owner has already extended the contract to September 7th and will likely need to do so again.
As anyone who has tried to find a Philadelphia landlord who will accept housing vouchers as a form of payment can tell you, this is a near impossible task on such a short time frame. This is especially true in a year where inflation has caused rent prices to soar and the payment schedule for vouchers has not kept up with market prices The Covid-19 pandemic has only compounded the difficulty of potential relocation.
UC Townhomes residents are organizing to halt the sale and demolition of their homes. Please read over the materials on this site to learn more about the issue and join the campaign!