PHA’s housing stock to go on auction block

In a city littered with vacant, blighted properties, the Philadelphia Housing Authority is the biggest landlord, but officials announced plans Thursday to unload 400 properties in its first-ever auction.

The properties being auctioned off are among 1,100 that have been approved for sale by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees PHA.

The properties, which are scattered across the city, range from town homes to vacant lots to multi-unit buildings. They will be offered individually as well as in groups of up to 25.

The auction will take place Nov. 16 at PHA’s Greater Grays Ferry Estate with Max Spann Real Estate and Auction Co. presiding over the auction. Officials made the announcement from the 3000 block of Cambridge Street in Brewerytown, where five unfinished PHA homes dot the block.

“This is actually one of the hottest areas in terms of the level of interest for developers, particularly smaller developers purchasing properties,” said City Councilman Darrell Clark. “The questions come up time after time from those developers about ‘What about our ability to acquire these properties’ and unfortunately they haven’t been available, so I expect these to go [quickly].”

‘Vacant for years’

Neighbor Danielle Conyers said she supports the idea of putting the properties into the hands of someone who will do something with them.

“I think it’s really great because there are a couple houses that I’m sure have been vacant for a good amount of years,” said Conyers, 23, an Art Institute student. “It’s a really nice neighborhood.”

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