ISSUE 144 | February 18, 2022
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Philadelphia’s Common Table project aims to ignite food entrepreneurs
The Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia is launching Common Table, which consists of kitchens available for rent and one e-kitchen for demonstrations and filming.

The facilities will allow entrepreneurs to test concepts, recipes, and menus before opening their own restaurants, food trucks, or catering businesses.

The center also offers mentorship and training opportunities to entrepreneurs of color.

Pennsylvania county emphasizing equity in contracting process
Delaware County’s Council has approved an ordinance to require all contractors to disclose political contributions prior to engaging in county business.

Failure to do so will result in an immediate termination and three-year ban.

The rule applies to contracts exceeding $50,000 and will take effect in April 2022.

Philadelphia laboratory to identify and research COVID-19 variants 
The city’s health department is spending $1 million to build a sequencing laboratory, on track to begin operation in June.

Hospitals are overwhelmed, and without insights revealed through sequencing, physicians do not always know the best ways to treat patients.

The city and state have relied on CDC-contracted labs or universities, but must wait weeks and months to get results when physicians need them in days or hours.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Research addresses racial and ethnic disparities in housing
A recent study from the Bipartisan Policy Center supports findings in The Institute’s own Housing Equity study.

The publications identify disproportionate challenges people of color face with regard to rising housing costs, and housing instability, and the subsequent community impacts.

In these cases, relatively large shares of income are spent on housing, leaving fewer resources for food, medical, care, and other necessities. 

Charging deserts allow air pollution to fester in Black and Hispanic communities
Mapping of electric vehicle charging stations highlights the lack of such stations in underserved neighborhoods.

This lack hinders opportunity to own electric vehicles, leaving Black and Hispanic neighborhoods with disproportionate shares of air pollution.

Although many cities across the country are introducing charging stations in underserved and rural areas, efforts have been incremental.

HUD report details challenges faced by low-income renters 
The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s biennial report to Congress stated that 7.77 million renters struggle with worst case housing needs.

They spend at least half their incomes on rent, and live amid inadequate conditions.

These individuals do not receive any housing supports. 

Research Spotlight!
The Institute's Housing Task Force has recently explored housing equity in Northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as the region's housing divide. Use the link and scroll down to access these studies, along with an entire decide of housing-related research.
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