I think I may have posted on this thread about finding a place to live in Philadelphia, but it may have gotten lost in the website update, so I apologize if it's a double post.
I applied for this program (haven't heard back yet, fingers crossed!!) but I currently live in Philadelphia, and I love it! I live on a trolley line in West Philly, which I find is very convenient and I can get most places in under 25 minutes, and I am not planning on moving. For people moving into the area, I'd recommend looking at where SEPTA lines run, and trying to live close to one of them. I am not a huge fan of the bus, it doesn't usually come on time and sometimes doesn't come at all, but I find the Market Frankford line & Broad St line subways, and Green line trolleys to be very regular & convenient.
is an awesome website that overlays Craigslist posting onto a Google map, so you can look in a very specific area, and that's how I found my current apartment. You can sort by rent prices and number of bedrooms too. Philadelphia can be very block to block and one block can be great but a few blocks south or west or whatever can be much more deserted & blighted, so looking at Google streetview is also great if you are from out of the area. It's important to remember that the ACE program occurs in the Center City campus
, and not the University City campus. In center city, my *ideal* recommendation would be in the tree streets between Chestnut & South, especially in the teens there are some very pretty historic rowhouses. The center city campus is easily accessible by the Broad St line so even living in South Philly near a subway stop could be very convenient. There are so many interesting neighborhoods in Philadelphia, so good luck :-)