The Alliance for Building Communities is renewing an initiative to renovate and rehabilitate vacant homes to increase affordable housing in neighborhoods surrounding Allentown's new commercial core.
The alliance is kicking off the program with a $90,000 renovation of 245 N. 10th St., which is being de-converted to a single-family home, said Gerald F. Alfano, its president and CEO.
Financing for renovations to the two-story, three-bedroom home is provided largely through a $30,000 grant from the East Stroudsburg Savings Association.
The renovations will conform with historic district parameters in the Old Allentown Preservation District, Alfano said.
Work on two more homes at 612 Gordon and 232 N. Church streets will begin before the end of this year.
ABC recently completed renovations on several multi-family buildings, including Greystone Apartments at 7th and Walnut streets.
The organization is also preparing to assume management of an apartment building on 10th Street.
It has about 20 homes in downtown Allentown either rented or available for rent to low- or moderate-income families.
“We’re committed to the city, we believe in the city,” said Alfano. “There are a lot of great things happening in Allentown now and providing quality, safe, and affordable housing to residents in the city is a piece of the puzzle. We are proud to be able to contribute to the renaissance now underway downtown."
Alfano also serves as the chairman of the Allentown Commercial & Industrial Development Authority, overseeing construction of the commercial projects, and is vice –chairman of the city's Redevelopment Authority.
In existence since 1975, ABC serves an area in northeastern Pennsylvania that includes Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Carbon, Monroe and Schuylkill Counties. The organization owns and operates eight multi-family buildings in the five counties.