Eviction reform for Philadelphia passes PA House

HARRISBURG, March 20 – Legislation (H.B. 287) sponsored by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., that would overhaul Philadelphia’s eviction process passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today and now heads to the Senate for consideration. 

This legislation was introduced by Krajewski in partnership with Reps. Morgan Cephas, Tarik Khan and Roni Green following a series of shootings last year that occurred during evictions carried out by Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant officers. 

It would change Philadelphia’s eviction system by creating an oversight board, involving behavioral health professionals, and banning “surprise evictions” in which tenants are not given notice of the date and time of evictions. 

Krajewski said H.B. 287 would reform the unaccountable 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. 

“Philadelphia’s violent, for-profit eviction system is an outlier statewide and desperately needs to be reformed. By ending surprise evictions, creating oversight and accountability for eviction agents and ensuring tenants have access to basic support, we can help prevent the shootings we saw last summer from ever occurring again.” Krajewski said. “I call on my Senate colleagues to pass this commonsense and urgently needed legislation.”  

“March 26 will mark a year since Angel Davis was shot by an armed contractor of the for-profit law firm known as the landlord-tenant officer,” said Philadelphia City Council Minority Leader Kendra Brooks. “Since then, Rep. Krajewski and I, along with Ms. Davis and our colleagues in City Council and the General Assembly, have been working to bring accountability to Philadelphia’s reckless eviction system and to prevent this type of violence from happening to anyone else.  

“It is long past time for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to enact the commonsense reforms outlined in H.B. 287. I congratulate Rep. Krajewski and co-sponsors for its successful passage through the state House, and I look forward to working together toward a Pennsylvania where every family can count on safe, affordable housing.” 

The bill is supported by the Philadelphia City Council, the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office and housing advocates across the commonwealth.