PHA Auction of Vacant Properties Yields $8.4 Million

Money will be reinvested in affordable housing

(Philadelphia, PA – June 25, 2019)- The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) successfully auctioned another 144 long-term vacant scattered site properties last week as it progresses toward right-sizing its scattered site public housing portfolio. The public auction generated over $8.4 million.  About 950 people attended the event with 83 unique buyers making winning bids.

“PHA will use the proceeds from the sales of these properties to create other housing opportunities for families who have been waiting,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah.  “We will also use the proceeds toward much needed repairs on our aging housing stock.  At the same time, the public auction provides an opportunity for the new owners of these properties to rehab them, put them back on the tax rolls and help improve neighborhoods”

An estimated 950 people showed up for PHA’s auction of vacant properties run by Barry S. Slosberg Auctioneers that yielded $8.4 million. The property list was published well in advance on the auctioneer’s website to ensure interest and a healthy turnout in an open and transparent process.

Since Mr. Jeremiah became President and CEO, PHA conducted four other public auctions consisting of 381 scattered site properties.  Many of these properties have since been renovated and reoccupied.

This latest auction brings to over 500 the number of properties made available to the public in an open and transparent process. Each property was auctioned individually rather than in groups, so that the smallest investor or prospective fixer-upper homeowner could competitively bid.
None of the properties up for auction was located in the Sharswood transformation area. This is an important distinction in that PHA obtained hundreds of parcels in that neighborhood to be developed, not to auction.

The sale of long-term vacant scattered properties by auction is just one part of PHA’s comprehensive plan for its scattered site portfolio.  Since 2013, in an effort to salvage as many derelict properties as possible PHA has rehabilitated over 1,000 vacant scattered sites for households on PHA’s waiting list. The agency has also partnered with other organizations to convert these properties into new units.

Most recently, PHA transferred two vacant scattered site properties near 12th & Wallace Streets to the Philadelphia Chinatown Community Development Corporation, which is now transforming the properties into 13 units of affordable housing.
The large majority of PHA’s scattered sites are occupied.  Families who live in those homes can be reassured, as those properties will remain in PHA’s inventory.