The owners of Dynasty Court, the affordable rental development in the heart of Chinatown, have confirmed to PCDC that they intend to sell the property. They have said a condition of the sale is that it remains affordable.
PCDC’s desire is to keep this development as affordable housing for the Chinatown community. While Chinatown has seen a great increase in new development, nearly all of those projects have been geared towards higher-income families. In turn, this has put pressure on all the other housing stock in the neighborhood, leaving low-income renters vulnerable to cost increases. We must preserve affordable housing so we can continue to offer opportunities for new immigrants.
PCDC developed Dynasty Court in 1983 to provide quality, affordable housing for Chinatown’s families. At the time, the community had just won the fight against the Vine Street
Expressway, as the Mayor had announced the selection of a scaled-down version which would preserve Chinatown. We turned our focus to replacement housing for displaced families.
Today, Dynasty Court is the only family-friendly affordable rental development in Chinatown. It is one of just two Section 8 projects in Chinatown which are supported by federal funds. Generations of families have raised their children in these homes, which have supplied quality places to live for families which need access to bilingual services and schools.
As longtime resident Vanessa Xie testified at the Fair Housing Assessment hearing: “When my parents first got to Philadelphia, they lived in a very small apartment along with a few other family members. However, shortly after I was born in 1989, our family was fortunate enough to have become beneficiaries of the Dynasty Court Section 8 housing. My mom told me that when they came by to review their living conditions at the time, the official believed that it was no place to raise a child. Dynasty Court gave us a place to live where we had enough space, so that I would not have to share a room with my parents, or with other family members. We were able to invite friends to come over, so that we could build, and create communities in our home.”
These families have built strong social and cultural networks in the community. It is important that Dynasty Court remains affordable for the long-term, otherwise low-income families will be forced out.
As Chinatown sees change and new investment, affordable housing developments like Dynasty Court play a large role in supporting our community and keeping Chinatown as a welcoming place for new immigrants. It is extremely difficult to build new affordable housing. We cannot afford to lose any of our existing affordable housing.
Currently, the project is a Section 8 project which provides subsidized rental rates to low-income households. This means the owners have a contract with HUD, a federal agency. The last day to renew this contract is October 12th.