Homeless Philadelphians Moving Into Vacant City-Owned Homes

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Philadelphia, PA – Housing advocates plan to reveal today that they’ve facilitated moving previously-unhoused city residents into “vacant, viable” homes in North Philly owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA). According to those who are helping families move in, a large number of usable residences are being intentionally left vacant by the PHA so that they can be sold to developers.

The process of finding empty PHA-owned homes, fixing them up, and helping to move people in is a collaboration between ‘Occupy PHA’ and the Revolutionary Workers Collective.

The ‘move-in’ process began during the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, but now has a sense of added urgency against the backdrop of nationwide unrest and struggles for justice during uprisings after the police murder of George Floyd in May.

Watch our live stream below:

Jennifer Bennetch, who is making today’s announcement revealing the multiple occupations of city-owned homes, previously undertook an extended protest vigil outside PHA’s headquarters under the banner of ‘Occupy PHA’ in 2019.

Unicorn Riot also recently streamed a press conference from a homeless encampment on the Ben Franklin parkway near Center City, Philadelphia. Bennetch and others are working to support Philadelphia residents who self-organized the parkway camp via the Revolutionary Workers Collective.

See last Wednesday’s stream below:

Stay tuned for more reporting from Unicorn Riot regarding the housing crisis in Philadelphia.

  • John R.

    I am glad when vulnerable people are given a roof over their heads and even perhaps a good nights sleep — something that many of us take for granted. Good stuff here.

  • iowapinko

    This is a great strategy. It is time to begin using the resources and tools that are available to us to improve conditions for those in our communities who suffer.

    In my own state of iowa, old timers tell stories of entire communities coming out to move evicted families back in to their farms and homes. I’m afraid we might need to engage in a similar strategy with the multitude of eviction on the horizon.

    Hey,this is giving me ideas……..what about all those empty factories all over the place. We got skilled workers lookin for work…………hmmmmmm.

  • iowapinko

    AND we have thousands of hungry and malnourished people while empty lots are everywhere, collecting junk car parts, garbage and trouble. This is farmland!

    If the working class people of the U$ set our minds and our hearts to it, we could make this place into something.

  • Jon

    And what about the closed mega stores like Sears, K-Mart, etc. that could be converted to housing! Big strong buildings, mostly immune to wind and rain damage.

  • Jon

    American Farmland Trust is a great organization that helps convert ownership with creative financing from aging farm families to younger eager farm-willing people with few financial resources.

  • ღ 🍌 Ḃẳḇɤḁńǥĕļ 🍌ღ

    i usually DONT LIKE squatters but i feel ALOT of sympahty for homeless folks . i used to work at a warehouse in a ROUGH industrial area of city ( corpus christii) i live . there was homeless folks who would hangaround the otuside of warehouse i worekd at i went out there outside every few hours to have a cigarette i would buy cheap pall mall red 100s to give away loosies from if someone out there asked me for a cigarette since the marlboro red 100s i smoked were too costly to give away .
    i befriended one homeless guy there named Greg . every morning he would come by to talk to me HE NEVER asked me for $ and he didnt smoke i VOLUNTARILY gave him one of 2 tacos i bought from taco place for me to eat out there i also gave him soda cans , snacks ( such as a new ritz cracker tube ) or small bags of chips
    ( i no longer work since i been disabled (MS ) since summer 2018