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Anti-Displacement: The Untapped Potential of University-Community Cooperative Living

Supported by Corporation for National & Community Service - Community Conversations Program

Project led by:

Ayana Allen-Handy, PhD
Rachel Wenrick, PhD

A team of researchers led by Dr. Ayana Allen-Handy from Drexel's School of Education and Dr. Rachel Wernick from Drexel's College of Arts and Sciences are conducting a Community-led Participatory Action Research (CLPAR) study that brings together an intergenerational university-community research team to investigate the landscape of residential displacement and affordable housing options in the rapidly gentrifying federally designated West Philadelphia Promise Zone.

The project seeks to illuminate the existing housing options that  are available, how well these options are understood by residents in need, and whether the community is interested in alternative options, specifically in university-community cooperative living. Without knowledge of the complex systems affecting rapid urban change, there can be no meaningful ground-level response. Therefore, education and the dissemination of knowledge are essential steps towards engaged participation and whole-community involvement. We anticipate, that the research we gather and disseminate will be used to highlight the urgent need for more  affordable housing in the Promise Zone, through centering the funds of knowledge of the community stakeholders to generate meaningful conversations with community and city stakeholders, and to provide tangible products that can be easily disseminated and used as resources to inspire and support other residents, youth, practitioners policymakers, researchers, and organizations who wish to respond to this issue.

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