Morning Headlines: Housing Auction Confuses and Brings Treasured Memories

It took some time, but the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) finally decided to sell some 196 properties the agency has owned since the 1960s and ’70s that were bearing no revenue fruit. Yesterday morning PHA held an auction, and while some people were glad to get an opportunity to bid on beloved homes, others felt unprepared.

“The toughest thing about these auctions is they won’t let people into the properties,” one developer told City Paper. But another bidder said he was able to inspect the properties, and indeed the list of homes to be auctioned was made public well before yesterday.

That’s how Laverne Simms knew to come to the auction to bid on a row home on North Etting Street in North Philadelphia. It was Simms’ family home until seven years ago, when her elderly mother moved out; she won the home for $9,000. “I can’t wait to get her back there,” Simms told the Inquirer of her mother, whose home it will be once again.

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