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Vacant Properties Occupied by Homeless Families Turned Over to Community Land Trust
"On Friday, September 25, Philadelphia Housing Action and the City of Philadelphia reached a tentative agreement to resolve a months long standoff over the fate of two homeless protest encampments and 15 vacant city-owned homes occupied by mothers and children," according to a press release from Philadelphia Housing Action.
"The unprecedented agreement to give homeless activists 50 vacant, viable homes comes after many months of housing takeovers, protest encampments, eviction defense of the houses, barricaded and blockaded streets and mass mobilizations to defend the encampments."
Philadelphia Housing Action is now tasked with setting up a community land trust for the transfer of the 50 properties from the city.
Meir Rende reported about the group of mostly single mothers and their children, who have been living in the vacant homes since March under the banner of Occupy PHA. While living in the vacant properties, the families have "spackled walls, patched roofs, fixed leaky plumbing, and registered utilities in their own names, while waiting to see if the PHA will send its private police force to evict them from the homes."
The move-ins were both acts of necessity and a political protest against the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), according to sources cited by Rende.
The success of the Occupy PHA effort continues a recent trend of similar efforts, starting with the Moms 4 Housing group in Oakland, California in 2019.