Philadelphia Overhauls Eviction System After Series of Shootings, Sparking Debate Among Landlords

Last year, Philadelphia witnessed three shootings during evictions carried out by landlord-tenant officers, leading to significant public outcry and legal action. Angel Davis, one of the shooting victims, has filed a lawsuit after being shot in the head by a private security contractor during an eviction.

In response to these incidents, the City Council unanimously passed reforms to the privatized eviction system. The new legislation requires private security contractors to undergo extensive training, obtain liability insurance, and secure a city license. Additionally, licensed eviction officers must complete annual retraining, and those involved in use-of-force incidents or owing city taxes are barred from obtaining a license.

While housing advocates and some officials praised the reforms for increasing transparency and accountability, there were notable critics. Greg Wertman, president of Hapco Philadelphia, expressed concerns that the bill would exacerbate delays in an already lengthy eviction process, disproportionately affecting small landlords who suffer financially from prolonged disputes. Wertman emphasized that the new regulations could make it even harder for landlords to manage eviction cases efficiently, highlighting the challenges small property owners face compared to larger landlords with extensive resources.

The reforms, despite the administration's reservations about enforcement capabilities, signify a move towards greater oversight of eviction practices in Philadelphia. However, the final decision on the legislation awaits the mayor's approval by September 5.

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Pennsylvania Senate Approves Bill for Clearer Rules on Dealing with Squatters

On Wednesday, Senator Lisa Baker announced that the Pennsylvania Senate has passed a bill aimed at providing greater clarity and protection for homeowners, law enforcement, and landlords dealing with squatters.

According to Baker, under current Pennsylvania law, squatters would be considered trespassers once the property owner warns them they are not welcome and instructs them to vacate the property.

 

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High Housing Costs: A Growing Threat to Household Incomes

High housing costs are straining household incomes across America, with a record number of renters burdened by rising rents and stagnant wages. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, housing affordability has worsened, leaving lower-income renters with dwindling residual incomes after rent payments, jeopardizing their ability to meet basic living expenses.

 

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Smith-Wade-El Leads Rally for Fair Housing Reforms in Pennsylvania

State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El of Lancaster hosted a rally advocating for fair housing in Pennsylvania, joined by legislators, legal experts, and community advocates statewide. The rally highlighted the housing challenges faced by Pennsylvanians, including evictions and homelessness due to a lack of affordable housing. Smith-Wade-El emphasized the need for legislative and budgetary measures to address housing inequities, such as his proposal to seal eviction records and increase support for housing repair programs for seniors. The event focused on key initiatives in the PA House budget proposal, including funding increases for homelessness assistance and housing repairs, aiming to ensure all Pennsylvanians have access to safe and secure housing.

 

Read about it here!


Hapco Presents "Bridge the Gap" Elected Official Panel Event

Save the date for an engaging and informative evening at Hapco's "Bridge the Gap" Elected Officials Panel event, taking place on September 19, 2024. We're thrilled to invite you to participate in a pivotal conversation alongside elected officials and Hapco representatives.

 

Event Details:
Date: September 19, 2024
Location: Stay tuned for venue details!

 

Join us as we unite housing stakeholders and elected leaders to foster meaningful discussions and actionable strategies. Help shape the future of Philadelphia's housing landscape.

Stay updated on event details and spread the word to ensure a diverse and impactful gathering. Together, we can make a difference!


PROA June Bill Track Report: Key Legislative Updates

Discover the Latest Updates in the Proa June Bill Track Report!

 

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