Philly homeless encampment organizers say they've reached tentative agreement with city

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Organizers of two homeless encampments in Philadelphia say they have reached a tentative housing agreement with the city.

"The agreement is still tentative, it has a lot of details to be worked out," said Jennifer Bennetch with OccupyPHA.

Philadelphia Housing Action said on Friday they reached an agreement with the City of Philadelphia, saying the city agreed to give homeless activists 50 vacant and viable homes. That includes 15 that have already been occupied by families. Under the agreement, those homes would be transferred to a community land trust.

READ MORE: Mayor Kenney's office 'making progress' with organizers amid stabbing at encampment
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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's office is expressing concern after a man was stabbed at the homeless encampment.



The city did not confirm an agreement was reached but did release a statement saying: "The City remains in negotiation with the representatives of the protest camps, but many details remain to be worked out. Any agreement will require a date certain by which the protest camps will be resolved."

The protest encampments have been set up since June -- the two remaining sit along the Ben Franklin Parkway and on Ridge Avenue outside the Philadelphia Housing Authority headquarters.

Camp leaders have said their goal is to bring awareness to the city's homeless and the need for safe housing.


The encampments have not always been peaceful. Two people were stabbed over the course of the months-long protest: one in June and one just last week.

READ MORE: Man critically injured after stabbing at homeless encampment in Philly

Organizers say they hope to meet with city officials this week.

"I mean we know they can do better, but we are satisfied with the agreement if we are able to get homes that are in a slightly, decent condition and not homes that have the backs falling down and stuff like that," said Bennetch.

Camp organizers say they will commit to a date when they find out which properties the city will agree to transfer.
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