The Housing Crisis We Don’t Talk About

When Gentrification Isn’t a Problem, Renters Face a Whole Other Set of Challenges

Story by Jake Blumgart

Photography by Paul Gargagliano

Published on Oct 20, 2014

No one is moving back to Chester, Pa. Unlike nearby Philadelphia and so many other cities across the U.S., the city of Chester remains trapped in postindustrial doldrums. No one in the small city on the Delaware River is talking about a glut of posh cafes or spiking real estate prices — gentrification is a non-issue. Instead, there are serious concerns about the quality of housing available to many working-class and low-income renters who make a home there. Next City contributing writer Jake Blumgart takes us inside one of the East Coast’s poorest cities in this eye-opening feature about tenant protections, the role of government in the rental market and the possibilities of change.