Residents of Wynnefield’s Penn Wynn House have been served with a mass eviction notice. Tenants have been given until the end of May to leave the apartment complex, their homes. This move comes as owners of the complex prepare to begin a major renovation project that will displace hundreds of residents. With the continued growth of development in Philadelphia these types of stories are no longer rare, but no less painful to the neighborhood residents they effect. Penn Wynn House has some 240 apartments and many of the residents there are senior citizens, retired veterans, people with limited mobility or on fixed incomes. For many of them finding new lodgings is a challenge made doubly hard when trying to do this in little over a month’s time. After interviewing some of the residents it’s clear that this all began when new owners purchased the building in December 2016.
According to resident Willie Mobley “soon after that the letters started being stuck on apartment doors” eviction letters. The tenants have had little communication with the new owners, and many don’t see a way forward.
In early May, some of the residents partnered with the Philadelphia
Tenants Union, to hold a demonstration outside the Penn Wynn
house. PTU is a tenant-led organization dedicated to winning safe,
decent, and affordable housing for renters in Philadelphia. The
demonstration held outside the Penn Wynn House was planned to
bring awareness to their plight. The Tenants Union is asking the new
owners to give the tenants an extension of three months and to return security deposits in full. Residents could use this money as they seek new housing in the area. Members of the press were there along with many onlookers. Councilman Curtis Jones was on hand to
speak to the crowds and he stated that he would introduce legislation concerning unfair eviction practices during city council session in May. The Parkside Journal will continue to follow this story, look for updates on our website at: http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Councilman Curtis did Introduced a bill, in late May, that would require landlords in gentrifying neighborhoods to give residents at least six months’ notice before eviction can take place.