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

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Local

Federal prosecutors charge 3 men in multi-million dollar…

Federal prosecutors in New York charged three men in connection with a $33 million fine art scam that spanned more than two decades.

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.