... in that neighborhood it is actually quite cheap, a one bd around there will easily go for $1300 and up- you can do a bit better in art museum and wash sq. west but not much, I would really consider the average cheap studio to be around $700-900, cheap one bd to be from $850-1100, two bds can be found between $1150-1400.
you're going to have a hard time getting anything cheaper than that right now, imo...
my rents $975 for a 1 bd and people are amazed by how cheap my apartment is when I tell them.
rent's not cheap in the city ::shrugs::
You can find pretty good two-bedroom apartments for $1,100 or less in the northwest part of the city and other places further out from Center City. I don't know how much cheaper one-bedrooms are.
You can live in Mount Airy or Roxborough or East Falls or Chestnut Hill and ride the SEPTA regional rail in to Temple in a reasonable amount of time (especially from East Falls). If you need lower rent and/or more space and/or want to avoid the most urban part of the city, those neighborhoods seem like good options to me.