Filed under: Featured, Housing, IGDcast, Interviews, Northeast, Radio/Podcast
On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with two members of Philadelphia Housing Action, about the ups and downs of 2020 that has been outlined in the recent piece, Occupy, Takeover: How Philadelphia Housing Action Turned Vacant Buildings Into Homes. It details how throughout 2020, members of the group moved unsheltered individuals and families into livable, unused homes owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Moreover, in the midst of the rebellion that kicked off following the police murder of George Floyd, the group was also involved in setting up several encampments throughout the city, which often were marked by standoffs with the police and barricades in the streets.
In the midst of a nation-wide rebellion, in #Philadelphia people built barricades to defend encampments, while vacant homes were occupied. In September, the city handed over homes to 50 families. @PhlHousing gives a blow by blow of how it all went down. https://t.co/T6PFmLhlsm pic.twitter.com/I6rWhDP51Y
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) January 29, 2021
While the eyes of the nation were centered squarely on the autonomous zone in Seattle, in Philadelphia, such encampments were able to leverage the city to turn over 75 homes to a land-trust, providing housing for multiple families and formerly unhoused individuals – including many who had been squatting in the months prior.
As extreme weather becomes the norm and building takeovers to provide shelter and resistance to sweeps of homeless camps become more widespread, the campaign by Philadelphia Housing Action remains an instructive example of what is possible.
More Info: Occupy, Takeover: How Philadelphia Housing Action Turned Vacant Buildings Into Homes, Philadelphia Housing Action on Twitter, and Philadelphia Housing Action homepage.