Legislation ending for-profit evictions in Philadelphia reported out of House Housing & Community Development Committee
HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – Legislation (H.B. 287) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., that would overhaul Philadelphia’s eviction process was approved by the House Housing and Community Development Committee today and now heads to the House chamber for consideration.
This legislation was introduced by Krajewski in partnership with Reps. Morgan Cephas, Tarik Khan and Roni Green following a series of shootings that occurred during evictions carried out by Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant officers.
It would change Philadelphia’s eviction system by requiring that evictions be carried out by a public entity, receive oversight from a review board and involve accompanying behavioral health professionals.
“Evictions are the worst day in someone’s life, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’re carried out safely and with compassion. Philadelphia's violent, for-profit eviction system is an outlier statewide and desperately needs to be replaced,” Krajewski said.
Krajewski said H.B. 287 would halt the unaccountable for-profit behavior of the LTO, the only private entity performing evictions in Pennsylvania, and provide a model for publicly accountable evictions that can be replicated statewide.
The bill is supported by the Philadelphia City Council, the mayor of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office and housing advocates across the Commonwealth.
“I’m grateful to the PA House of Representatives Committee on Housing and Community Development for approving this eviction modernization legislation," said Philadelphia Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, chair of Philadelphia City Council's Housing Committee. "This legislation implements many of the reforms Councilmember Brooks and I have spent the last several months fighting for and will restore safety, oversight and accountability over a system that operated opaquely and recklessly for decades. It shouldn’t have taken two Black women getting shot for us to reach this moment, but we won’t let another tragedy like what happened to Angel Davis and Latese Bethea ever happen again.”
“Ever since private armed contractors shot Angel Davis and Latese Bethea during evictions, I have been working with my colleagues to make commonsense reforms to Philadelphia’s eviction process, and I’m proud to support this legislation in the PA State House,” said Philadelphia Councilmember Kendra Brooks. “The legislation brings public accountability and much-needed resources to a system that has been operating in the shadows for decades, causing unnecessary violence and trauma for countless Philadelphians. I applaud State Representatives Krajewski, Cephas, Green and Khan for prioritizing Philadelphians’ safety by including a trained behavioral health specialist that can de-escalate difficult situations and bring resources to our neighbors who are facing one of the toughest moments of their lives.”