Appeals, Nos. 346, 368 and 384, Jan. T., 1961, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1959, No. 1894, in equity, in case of Abraham White, South Philadelphia Realty Board, North Philadelphia Realty Board et al. v. City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Housing Authority, and School District of Philadelphia. Decree reversed.
Edward B. Soken, for School District of Philadelphia, appellant.
Matthew W. Bullock, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, with him Joseph V. Furlong, Jr. and James L. Stern, Deputy City Solicitors, and David Berger, City Solicitor, for City of Philadelphia, appellant.
George E. Peterson, for Philadelphia Housing Authority, appellant.
Seymour Kurland and Bernard M. Borish, for appellant, Philadelphia Housing Authority, and Philadelphia Housing Association, amicus curiae.
Merton J. Matz, with him Thomas S. Howland, Morris B. Levitt, and Simon Lenson, for appellees.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES
In this equity action, Abraham White (White), an individual, and four Philadelphia Realty Boards (Boards) sought to enjoin the City of Philadelphia (City), the Philadelphia Housing Authority (Authority), and the School District of Philadelphia (School District) from the enforcement of an ordinance of the Council of the City of Philadelphia (Council), known as Ordinance No. 2530, and to have said ordinance declared invalid and unconstitutional.*fn1 After the dismissal of preliminary objections to the complaint and the filing of identical answers by the City, Authority and School District, the matter was heard before Judge LEO WEINROTT and argued before the court en banc of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County. That court unanimously enjoined the City, the Authority and the School District from proceeding under the ordinance holding that the ordinance was invalid and that the City had exceeded its powers under the enabling statute, the Housing Authorities Law.*fn2 The validity of that ruling is attacked on these three appeals.
Over eleven years ago, the Authority received from the Public Housing Administration (PHA), a federal agency which administers the program of federal housing,*fn3 a program reservation for 10,000 units of low rent housing to be developed in the City. On June 19, 1950, the Authority entered into a so-called Cooperation Agreement with the City and School District to assist in providing low rent housing units. By January 14, 1958, the Authority had developed projects containing 10,000 units and the Cooperation Agreement was amended to provide an additional 10,000 units.
The Authority then decided to embark upon an entirely new concept of low rent housing, i.e., the acquisition of existing structures and buildings, not necessarily contiguous, for the purpose of rehabilitation of such structures and buildings and the conversion of such structures and buildings into low rent housing units. For that purpose, the Authority determined to utilize the so-called Haddington area which is comprised of 60 blocks, bounded on the east by 52nd Street, on the west by 63rd Street, on the south by Market Street and on the north by Girard Avenue, all in Philadelphia. To that end, the Authority on July 31, 1958 entered into a so-called ...