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Fight to preserve way of life for affected residents of UC Townhomes continues

Fight to preserve way of life for impacted residents of UC Townhomes continues
Fight to preserve way of life for impacted residents of UC Townhomes continues 02:26

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Tenants took the street Wednesday to save their affordable housing complex in West Philadelphia. They issued demands and are asking city leaders for help.

For those assembled at City Hall Wednesday evening, the fight to preserve a way of life for the affected residents of UC Townhomes continues, though the message they're sending extends far beyond this one neighborhood.

Several hundred people gathered at City Hall Wednesday to hear about a proposal aimed at saving the 68 residents at UC Townhomes at 40th and Market Streets from eviction.

"We are also calling on the city to create a fund that will make preserving existing affordable housing a reality," a woman said.

IBID/Altman Management, the owners of the property, plan to sell it to developers, which would displace scores of elderly residents and families who call it home. It's safe, has good schools and is close to healthy food and public transportation.

"My daughter, who was already an honor roll student, was able to get into our neighborhood schools, which were not only safe but a clean environment," Crystal Young said.

This mother and the rest of her neighbors have until Oct. 8 to vacate the premises.

Wednesday's rally followed by a march around Center Cty aims to bring attention back to this issue in the hopes of finding a resolution, though many in attendance are fed up with the displacement caused by gentrification all over the city.

"We live in a city where the culture is the developers come in, they can make all kind of money, they don't have to pay taxes and they do us dirty," a man said.

While we may be talking about UC Townhomes today, tomorrow, it could easily be another community that's uprooted. As many as 37 other for-profit properties in the city will see their HUDcontracts expire just like UC Townhomes in the next five years.

"We need more quality public housing," Seth Anderson-Oberman said. "We need more quality public housing because if we just leave it to the free market and to the corporations and the developers, they're not going to do anything, They want to make money. That's all they care about."

Eyewitness News reached out to Altman Management for their side of the story and they had no comment.

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