West Philly Residents and Their Supporters Start Occupation at 40th & Market Site
to Demand Action on Philadelphia’s Eviction and Housing Crises
UC Townhomes Residents join the national housing fight and rename the site: “The People’s Townhomes.”
What: Launch of Occupation Protest at 40th and Market Site, “The People’s Townhomes”
When: Monday, July 11, 2022 at 9:30am
Where: 40th & Market St. site, West Philadelphia
Who: “Resident Action Council”, joined by Leaders from #Moms4Housing in Oakland, Ca, supporters and residents living in properties with expiring HUD contracts
Philadelphia, PA: On Monday, Residents, along with supporters, including Oakland-based #Moms4Housing, unveiled their occupation and reclaimed the site as the “The People’s Townhomes”. After 9 months of organizing and little to no response from the City of Philadelphia or Altman Management, Townhomes Residents support the occupation of the space until their demands are met.
Residents invited their supporters to occupy the space and support their continuously escalating direct actions throughout the Summer and Fall. The owner, Brett Altman, has refused to extend the public housing contract any further, committing to evict residents by September 7th. Residents will stay and fight against the housing complex’s demolition until each and every resident has been provided a reasonable alternative housing solution.
“We live in some of the last affordable housing available in West Philly. A lot of places don’t take Section 8 vouchers even if it’s illegal to discriminate. Plus, It’s even harder to find a place if you are elderly, disabled, or a mom with small children. It’s not fair. We didn’t choose this,” said resident Lynn Green.
Additionally, the Residents demanded that the City take action on the dozens of expiring public housing contracts in West Philadelphia, and commit to keep Section-8 properties 100% deeply affordable.
Now residents in up to 37 other for-profit properties in the City’s 3rd Council District may meet a similar fate when the HUD contracts on their buildings expire in the next 5 years.
“We are out here to support all working class people. Developers are displacing people in Philadelphia and across the country. It’s us today, but it could be you tomorrow!” said resident and organizer, Rasheda Alexander.
In addition to local supporters, representatives from Oakland, CA-based, “Moms4Housing” attended today’s event. “In Oakland, there are thousands of people who are currently unhoused. 70% are Black and 28% are under the age of 18,” said Dominique Walker from Moms4Housing. “We came here from across the country, to stand with the moms, seniors and families because we cannot let what happened in the Bay Area take place here.”
Lastly, the occupation protest called on all Philadelphians to demand a halt to the City’s intentional neglect as it sells off public assets, community gardens and open green space to private developers forcing Philadelphia’s Black and working class people into increasingly smaller and smaller sections of the city.
Organizations that have endorsed the Save the UC Townhomes campaign and will be present at the rally include: Black Bottom Tribe, Black Lives Matter Philadelphia, Philadelphia Housing Action, Police Free Penn, Reclaim Philadelphia, Philly DSA, Jewish Voice for Peace-Philadelphia, Philly Socialists, Penn Housing For All, Cathedral Episcopalians for Housing Justice, West Philadelphians for Progressive Planning & Preservation, Philadelphia Socialist Alternative, Penn Pay PILOTs, Healing Communities PA, Love Not Phear, Comadre Luna Collective, Philadelphia Rent Control Coalition, OnePA, Students of Perelman School of Medicine, Kol Tzedek Synagogue, ACT UP Philadelphia.