Residents fret as PHA announces auction of 200 properties

pha auction
PHA CEO Kelvin Jeremiah, City Council President Darrell Clarke and Max Spann Jr. of Max Spann Real Estate announce a July 16 auction of 200-plus PHA scattered site properties Tuesday. Credit: Ceisler Media

The Philadelphia Housing Authority on Tuesday announced a one-day auction of more than 200 PHA-owned properties scattered around the city, mainly in the North Philadelphia and Center City areas.

The auction, which will be held July 16 and coordinated by Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., is expected to net several million dollars.

“These properties have been vacant for many years and unfortunately due to budgets cuts, PHA does not have the resources to rehab or maintain [them],” PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah said at a press conference on the 2100 block of North Marston Street, where five properties will be auctioned off.

“Therefore, by selling the properties we will generate badly needed revenue to use on other capital projects while allowing the private market to put these houses back into service.”

But residents of the North Philadelphia block, who say they’ve worked together to keep the street free of the debris attracted by the vacant properties, are skeptical whether they’ll reap tangible benefits from the auction.

“It’s good because they’re building new houses, but what about the people who already live on the block?” said a homeowner who gave her name only as Yolanda.

“Are they going to straighten up the block or invest here, fix up the lots or do something for the kids?”

Alina O. said residents have long been working together to clean up the street, absent help from the city or PHA.

“They want more money for their properties. The only thing I want to do is make the neighborhood look better,” she said, noting residents scrambled to clean the sidewalks and lots before the press conference, as no city crews came by to sweep.

Still, Jeremiah noted auction profits will help fund PHA’s newly established community development partnership subsidizing privately owned low income housing.

“It is reassuring to know that as we raise money from the sale of these properties we are also contributing to the improvement of the blocks where the houses are located,” he said.

While Max Spann Executive Vice President Bob Dann admitted there have been in past PHA auctions more buyers looking to develop properties and rent or sell them, he also pointed out rehabbed homes raise property values for all neighbors.

“Anytime they fix up the neighboring houses, it’s raising [residents'] property values,” he said.

“It will also keep the properties from falling down or creating more blight or injuries, so I see it as a great sign we’re fixing up neighborhoods, one by one.”

Yolanda remained unconvinced.

“They’re going to have on the block brand new houses, but the rest are going to be raggedy,” she said.

“It’s going to look kind of crazy if there are new houses and the rest are crumbling.”

Max Spann will hold three auction informational sessions at Greater Grays Ferry Estates, located at 1800 S. 32nd St., so prospective bidders can review the lists of properties, get instructions on the bidding process, find out terms of the sale and ask questions.

The seminars are scheduled for 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. June 26, July 2 and July 9.

Those interested in obtaining a full list of properties and information package are encouraged to visit Max Spann’s website or call 888-299-1438.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.