Impact By State



Like many other parts of the country, Pennsylvania's growth has resulted in significant housing affordability challenges. Combatting housing affordability issues in the state will require effective solutions that address the needs of all Pennsylvania residents.

Pennsylvania is home to over 13 million people

More than 943,600 Pennsylvanians call an apartment home, with demand on the rise

71% of extremely low-income renters spend more than half of their income on housing. 

Between now and 2030, Pennsylvania will need to build 5,000 new apartment homes each year to keep up with demand. 

Legal Landscape

Legal Landscape

The state of Pennsylvania follows the Dillon rule and has neither rent control nor preemption. The Dillon rule “creates a framework where local governments can only legislate what the state government has decreed… If local governments wish to exercise authority outside what has been delegated, they may approach the state and make their case.”

And while Pennsylvania does not have specific language implementing or prohibiting rent control, their constitutional structure could allow municipalities the opportunity to implement rent control if they should make the case for it.

Therefore, it is imperative that preemption be introduced and passed to protect citizens from the ramifications of rent control.


Rent control is an outdated concept. It benefits the very few – and not necessarily those in greatest need – at the expense of the larger society.


It is important for lawmakers to pursue alternatives such as voucher-based rental assistance for those in greatest need to better address housing affordability.

Alternative Approaches

Many states have adopted programs and initiatives to tackle the affordability crisis. In Pennsylvania, policymakers and the housing industry have made concerted efforts to address the problem. Examples include:

Shallow Rent Pilot Program

The Philadelphia Shallow Rent Pilot Program provides monthly rent vouchers of $300 or less to help tenants who are spending more than a third of their income on rent and live in income-restricted properties built or renovated with taxpayer dollars. 

Neighborhood Initiatives Fund Program

The Neighborhood Initiatives Fund (NIF) Program is a pilot program intended to assist nonprofit and community-based organizations with neighborhood-scale projects that improve quality of life and maintain the neighborhood as a desirable place to live. 

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 30

SB 30: Signed into law in 2020, this legislation created a state housing tax credit to incentivize private investment to create new and preserve existing affordable rental housing. 



Useful information to help inform and guide the development of viable solutions to the housing affordability crisis.

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