Philadelphia’s municipal election is on May 16th, when voters will select a democratic candidate for mayor to square off against the only Republican in the race, former City Councilmember David Oh. The next Philadelphia Mayor will guide the conversation on issues including affordable housing, rent control, eviction diversion, and taxes. Hapco Philadelphia reached out to all the major candidates and asked if they’d like to provide a short video or statement about their positions. Four candidates responded: Jeff Brown, Allan Domb, Rebecca Rhynhart and David Oh. You can see their complete statements below. Listed alphabetically, here is a brief summary of the candidates’ positions based upon the responses they provided, information we gathered from previous mayoral debates and from online content. We strongly encourage you to research the candidates further and be sure to vote on May 16th!  The future of our industry depends on it!


Warren Bloom’s website says he will fight for private property owners and property renters. Little information was provided.

Amen Brown is a second-term state representative from West Philadelphia. “Project HOME” asked Brown how he would address homelessness. He said his administration would evaluate systems and processes to reduce barriers to development, e.g., supporting efforts to reform zoning, implementing one-stop permit shops and developing city-owned properties for affordable housing.  As the city grows, he says, it is inevitable for development to take place, but we have to make sure communities are not displaced in the process.

Jeff Brown has never held elected office, but he is a business owner with more than a dozen local grocery stores. He says the city has a housing shortage and needs more affordable housing. Brown says people are being chased out of their homes because of high taxes, and he supports a 5% cap on real estate taxes. He wants to sell off the 8,000 properties in the city’s Land Bank to increase affordable housing stock. He does not support rent control, saying “once you institute it, it depresses the real estate market. And when you depress the real estate market, it convinces lenders, investors and developers not to develop here.” He also wants to automate government processes to make doing business with the city easier. Watch his video to HP members below.

Jimmy DeLeon, a retired municipal Court Judge, has a Housing Plan on his website that includes citywide rent control, listening sessions with housing advocates, rent-to-own affordable housing programs for first-time home buyers, and setting goals to reduce homelessness.

Allan Domb says the affordable housing problem goes hand-in-hand with the low-income problem, because Philadelphia ranks among the lowest of the top-50 cities for average income. He says the city must create opportunities to bring in more employers with better paying jobs. He wants to leverage the Land Bank for private investment. He also wants to investigate whether the city can buy down interest rates to make affordable housing development more attractive to investors. Domb supports extending good cause eviction protection to all residential leases, but he opposes rent control, saying it has repeatedly not worked. He says 90% of the owners of properties are “mom and pops”, so rent control would hurt investors. He says he’ll put his 40 years of experience in housing and business to advocate for more housing options. Read his full statement below.

Helen Gym, former city councilmember, will not rule out rent control. In fact, all indications are that she supports it. “I have been one of the few Councilmembers who believe that forms of rent stabilization have to be on the table. We cannot subsidize our way out of this. We’re going to have to have a serious conversation about how to keep rent stable and affordable,” she said at an April 20th mayoral forum, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Cherelle Parker is a former city councilmember and state representative. The April 10 Inquirer article, “Councilmember Cherelle Parker held a tight rein on development. What would she do as mayor?”, says Parker is known for her hands-on approach to land-use issues and quotes her as saying that she will balance neighborhood interests with new development and the city’s economic health. “People who live in the community have a right to be one of the major stakeholders,” she said.  The article cites several examples of her use of “councilmanic prerogative” to ward off development that she feels won’t fit a neighborhood, particularly development that would increase density. The report also says “she twice went to court to block landlords seeking to carve out rental units from their properties.”

Rebecca Rhynhart, as former city controller, focused on improving transparency and was the city’s spending watchdog. She says she will confront the city’s lack of affordable housing by working to develop the 8,500 vacant city-owned lots. She says her plan would not negatively impact stakeholders such as mom-and-pop landlords. “I would expand the renter eviction program to make sure that families are not kicked out of their homes for unjust reasons while at the same time ensuring that mom-and-pop landlords can keep their rents paid. I support using rent subsidy programs in areas of our city with increasing property values and rents to enable people to stay in their communities. I do not support rent control,” she tells us. She says that many programs are in place to keep homeowners in their homes in gentrifying areas, but the city must do a better job of educating people about their options, which is why she’ll create a door-knocking campaign to get homeowners enrolled. Read her full statement below.

We could not find a website for Delscia Gray or reach her for comment.


The lone Republican candidate, former city councilmember David Oh, tells us he would increase the funds made available to the Housing Trust Fund to support new development and to repair existing units. He would reform the Office of Property Assessment to ensure an accurate assessement of property to avoid overtaxation. He would also create an emergency hearing process for property owners dealing with squatters. Oh does not support rent control, because he says it will drive up the costs of rentals and reduce the quality of units. He also says he does not support a continuation of the evicition diversion program, because the pandemic is over. Watch his video to HP members below.

Each mayoral candidate was invited to record a short video or provide a brief statement about their views on affordable housing, rent control, the city’s eviction diversion program, taxes and other topics relevant to investment property owners. Four candidates did so, and their unedited videos or statements are provided below.


Read Rebecca Rhynhart’s statement to HP Members

Affordable housing creates stability for people and our communities. As Mayor, I will confront the city’s lack of affordable housing on multiple fronts without negatively impacting stakeholders such as mom-and-pop landlords.

Firstly, my top priority will be to make our city safer, cleaner, and more prosperous so that we can build more stability for our residents and more vibrancy in our neighborhoods.

As Mayor, I would work with the City Council to create a citywide housing plan that prioritizes affordable housing in every neighborhood. The city owns 8,500 vacant properties and lots throughout the city. These properties present a unique opportunity to build affordable housing for our residents.

I also would expand the renter eviction program to make sure that families are not kicked out of their homes for unjust reasons while at the same time ensuring that mom-and-pop landlords can keep their rents paid. I support using rent subsidy programs in areas of our city with increasing property values and rents to enable people to stay in their communities. I do not support rent control.

To help keep long-term residents in their homes, I will establish a door-knocking program in gentrifying neighborhoods to enroll long-time homeowners in existing city programs such as the Long Term Owner Occupancy Program and the Senior Tax Freeze.

My administration’s housing plan will ensure all of us have safe, affordable housing and neighborhoods where we can build our lives and livelihoods with dignity while making sure that mom-and-pop landlords can continue to operate in our city.

​My full affordable housing plan is available at

Read Allan Domb’s statement to HP members

I grew up modestly, and when I was a kid, my family was evicted. I know what housing insecurity feels like. That is why I’m focused on keeping people in their homes and in their neighborhoods.

I have a proven record of making housing more affordable in the city. On Council, I provided wage tax refunds for more than 60,000 lower-income households. I coordinated loan relief for homeowners and businesses during the Covid crisis. I passed a homeowner protection law that offers residents support and critical resources to safeguard their home equity and also cracks down on predatory and deceitful schemes offering “low cash” for properties. Additionally, I passed legislation requiring local employers to notify employees of their EITC eligibility because the city has a responsibility to make sure residents are aware of the assistance they are eligible for.

I support extending good cause eviction protection to all residential leases, but I do not support rent control which has repeatedly proven to not work in other communities, most notably New York City where tenants pass rent-controlled apartments down to family and friends, while others are unable to find safe, affordable housing.

I believe Philadelphia has failed to do enough to build out affordable housing options, and the high demand for housing vouchers is proof that we need to do more.

But as with other city needs, we should not discuss the need for more affordable housing as if it exists in a silo. Philadelphia is facing an affordable housing crisis and we need to increase the availability of housing generally by repair and rehabilitation of existing housing stock and continuing construction of new units. The City must also work to efficiently and responsibly transfer city-owned or vacant land to projects that will produce more affordable housing where most needed. Most importantly, we need to reduce the demand for rent-controlled units by increasing the number of people working at good wages, which will make it easier for residents to choose among housing options.

On City Council, I put my 40 years of experience in Philadelphia’s housing market to use to support affordable housing and help Philadelphia homeowners stay in their homes. As mayor, I will use my unique expertise in housing and business to advocate for more housing options and increased opportunity for every Philadelphian in every neighborhood.


Watch Jeff Brown's video to HP members

Watch David Oh's video to HP members