PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Housing Authority and OccupyPHA have reached an agreement to end an encampment along Ridge Avenue known as “Camp Teddy.” The announcement made Monday night states that a resolution has been reached to end the encampment across from PHA headquarters.
“I want to thank all of those whose hard work and good faith negotiating resulted in this resolution,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “As I have said from the start, the issues raised by the camp leaders — homelessness and the lack of affordable housing – are deep rooted and urgent. We hope this agreement will lead to a resolution of the separate protest camp on the Parkway. And we hope it will lead to new impetus among all partners to solve these vexing problems.”
This agreement comes after four months of negotiations.
“In late June, OccupyPHA along with residents of the Parkway Encampment (known as Camp JTD) moved to parcels of land located across from PHA’s Headquarters with the goal of pressuring PHA to come to the table regarding the housing crisis in Philadelphia and to discuss uses for long term vacant PHA properties. At times it seemed like all of our efforts would be in vain, however, we were able to reach an agreement with PHA to create a Community Land Trust for permanent low income housing with long term vacant PHA properties that were going to be disposed of. We appreciate PHA’s willingness to explore this idea with us, we look forward to our new venture and hope that it leads to lasting change,” said Jennifer Bennetch, OccupyPHA Founder.
According to a press release, the agreement ensures residents of Camp Teddy can opt-in to social services from Project HOME, as well as the City of Philadelphia, and be given a pathway to permanent affordable housing.
At PHA’s virtual board meeting on Oct. 15, PHA will ask the board for authorization to establish the COVID-19 Homeless Relief Program.
However, the encampment along the Ben Franklin Parkway still remains.