Your Turn: Rehabbing Old Homes

Groups like the Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust are fixing up old homes in Easton. What properties would you choose?

There's been a number of stories this year about efforts in the city to improve blighted properties.

The city put out a earlier this year of properties it wants to see fixed. 

We've written about the Easton Redevelopment Authority's efforts to rehab homes .

And the Express-Times reported today on a similar program by the Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust, which is also renovating homes in the West Ward, one at 1201 Bushkill Street, the other at 31 N. 9th St.

So we're asking you: Are there homes in your neighborhood that can benefit from this sort of program? Let us know where they are. 

another point of view December 30, 2011 at 02:39 AM
I guess this type of activity can be risky. Depend on quick resales to recycle the money on the next project. There was a non profit from Allentown, Alliance for Building or Better Communities ? (I don't know if I got that right.) They bought abandoned houses, cleaned them up and resold them. They ventured into Easton and gambled on a couple properties. There is one by the Easton Baking Co. that was done five years ago; I don't know if it was ever resold. They had limited success with this type of investment and I think they discontinued.
Dennis R. Lieb January 11, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Alliance for Building Communities (ABC) did successful residential deconversions/rehabs in other parts of the Lehigh Valley and also did new, multi-family construction as well. Their tactical mistakes in Easton were... A: Not getting all the money required for the projects up front (Easton provided HOME funds for this work - City council has to agree to the transfer). B: Not having properly qualified contractors at the outset. The funding shortage meant they had to finish one first and sell it to complete the other two. This limited the impact of the project (I believe having three, ready-to-go properties from the outset would have created buzz and leverage towards further rehabilitation). ABC should have asked me to accompany them to the city council meeting the following year for their request for additional funding . I was on the Board of Directors at ABC at the time; the only member from Easton, and also had relationships with city officials due to my activities in the West Ward. Why they wouldn't take advantage of my position made no sense to me. Of course, the city also shot themselves in the foot by partially funding rehab of three houses and then not giving them enough to finish any of the three. Why allow half-finished homes to sit around for years, deteriorating instead of getting them off the market? I have never understood this strategy. DRL


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