Know Your Price, Philly: The Fair City Challenge

Economy League research has identified an $57 billion dollar gap in property values for Black and Hispanic neighbors.

That is why the Economy League will be launching a social entrepreneurship competition we are calling the Fair City Challenge: Community Solutions for Reinvesting in Philadelphia Neighborhoods - to identify and support everyday innovators with ideas for closing the racial equity gap.  Stay tuned for further details in March 2024!

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What is the impact of housing inequity?

Perhaps the most acute and impactful manifestation of structural racism is found in the real estate market. Due to a series of factors that research continues to reveal, such as historic redlining, bias in the mortgage lending system, and prejudice in contemporary assessment practices, properties within neighborhoods populated by people of color are continually assessed at lower values when compared to similar properties within predominantly non-Hispanic white neighborhoods.

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Know Your Price, Philly, a new report from the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia in partnership with Dr. Kevin Gillen of Drexel University’s Lindy Institute and inspired by Dr. Andre Perry of the Brookings Institution, analyzes 70 years of property value data by race/ethnicity and neighborhood to quantify devaluation in Philadelphia. This report will serve as the basis for The Fair City Challenge, an Economy League Impact Labs competition that will identify, incubate, and accelerate community-driven solutions to this critical element of the racial wealth gap in our city and in the nation as a whole. 

Key Takeaways:

  •  Had houses in majority Black neighborhoods appreciated at the same rate as houses in white neighborhoods (after inflation) since 1950, homeowners in Black neighborhoods would collectively have $24bn more in housing wealth.  Similarly, homeowners in Latino neighborhoods would collectively have $33.4bn more in housing wealth.
  • Individually, Black homeowners who bought in 1950 would have nearly $113,000 more in housing wealth, while Latino homeowners would have just over $157,000 more in housing wealth. 

"The Challenge" Model

Our innovation challenges are the hallmark of Impact Labs. Through our extensive network of partners, we identify promising 'everyday innovators' and put them through a tech-style, 'fail fast' incubator and accelerator program designed to stress test a social enterprise and prepare it to scale. Our goal is maximum impact for equity.

  • Gather input from local communities and key stakeholders to formalize selection of community focus areas

  • Recruit program partners and advisors to assist with testing and implementation of the Fair City Challenge

Activate everyday innovators advancing solutions that leverage community and social connection to address housing equity challenges 

Help participating social entrepreneurs test their assumptions and develop compelling pitches 


Pitch competition prizes awarded to fund community winners for venture testing in the next phase 

Connect selected ventures with regional leaders and established orgs to create opportunities for learning and testing 

Connect Fair City grand prize winner with with resources to support continued professional growth and the implementation of their proposed solution.

Sponsor The Fair City Challenge

The devaluation of properties within neighborhoods of color is the longest tail of structural racism, a massive barrier to accessing the benefits of long-term property ownership, building generational wealth, and sustaining adequately resourced and economically resilient communities. Driven by an Economy League study called Know Your Price Philly - which analyzed 70 years of property value data to identify a massive, racialized equity gap in Philadelphia's housing market - we will be launching the Fair City Challenge in 2024. We will be seeking everyday innovators with promising solutions for revaluing property in historically marginalized neighborhoods.