Right now, the Philadelphia Housing Authority will begin to auction off their excess holdings, in an attempt to make some money, and maybe even move these properties (all of which are in varying states of disrepair) toward rehabilitation, or demolition and redevelopment. Though many of the properties up for auction have stood vacant for years, at least one of them already has inhabitants.
A group of squatters in West Philly have put up a sign in their window advising bidders inspecting their home that it is already occupied. However, their efforts to stay in their squat don't stop there: they also solicited donations via Indiegogo to buy their home at auction. Though they haven't met their goal of $10,000 as of this morning, they have raised more than $2500, which is enough for them to enter the auction. $1000 of the total sum they have raised came from one donor, but they have received donations from 31 different people.
The squatters are looking for donations as a last resort. Jessica Myers, who is one of the current residents of the house, has tried to buy it from the PHA, but was turned down because of its designation as Section 8 housing (she would have been at the end of a very long wait list). She even got her neighbors involved, and more than 200 of them signed a petition asking the PHA to sell her the house.
Whether or not Myers can outbid others at auction may not solely depend upon the money they bring: she is planning to protest other bidders at auction, to keep them from bidding on the house. She (and the other residents of the house) may finally manage to legitimately buy the property by discouraging other bidders, and coming in with just enough money to make a bid.
· Squatters in PHA Property Raising Money to Buy at Auction [Curbed Philly]
· Squatters: PHA is About to Auction Our Home [Naked City]