Enablers and Disablers of Private Small-Scale Residential Rehabilitation in Fringe Neighborhoods of Philadelphia
Philadelphia displays a clear need for rehabilitation of dilapidated housing through the high percentage of vacant properties in fringe neighborhoods. While government incentives have attempted to solve these issues, there is little documentation on the driving forces and obstacles of private-sector investment in these areas of Philadelphia for the purpose of revitalization. The purpose of this thesis is to uncover and analyze the enablers and disablers of private small-scale residential rehabilitation in fringe areas of Philadelphia through an analysis of literature and interviews with practicing developers. Contexts include a brief history of the vacant housing problem in order to describe the current supply of vacant housing, include how to understand the process of rehabilitation through real estate investment, and case studies of fringe neighborhoods in order to define relevant areas of study. The collection of media reports, journal articles, books, and community reports about fringe neighborhoods serves as the initial analysis of categories of enablers and disablers. Recent events and occurrences are used as indicators of effectiveness. From these media reports, interviewees of practicing small-scale residential redevelopers in fringe neighborhoods are selected. Each interview asked the same set of questions to ensure consistency. Then enablers and disablers as defined through the interviews are compared and analyzed to those of the media reports. The final conclusion finds that private small-scale residential redevelopment is a highly flexible and case-specific approach to addressing the vacant housing issue in Philadelphia.