PHA courts smaller buyers with second housing auction

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Housing Authority held its second property auction. This sale, meant to get homes the agency has held onto since the 1960s and 1970s off its rolls and back into the market targeted individual buyers and small-time investors.

Contractor Sulayman Barrow spent three days visiting all of the homes on the auction list, looking for a property to rehab.

“They pretty much had some good properties they was let sitting – letting go to waste,” Barrow said.

The first PHA auction in November included many bundles of properties, affordable only for large developers.

“I was a little disappointed because they sold so many in lots. It’s didn’t really give us opportunity to bid for a single home,” said Nathaniel Carter, who came to the first auction looking for a fixer-upper.

He has two boys, he said, so he wants to find a three bedroom home.

The PHA heard enough feedback from people like Carter after the first auction that it planned Wednesday’s auction to sell only individual homes.

“This is my first auction. So I’m a little nervous,” said Nydia Shlmo, who had set her sights on a home near her mother’s.

“It’s got a backyard for my children. It’s a nice little starter property for myself,” Shlmo said. “This is my first time owning a home. So that would be great.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.