Bits and Pieces
CADC Bethlehem Moves the Needle
The homeownership rate in the Hayes Street area (specifically block group 112-02) has increased 9.1% from the 2008-2012 period to the 2013-2017 period. Comparatively, during the same time period the City as a whole experienced a decrease in homeownership rates of 5.2%. Since most of the Hayes Street investments began around 2013, this time period pretty accurately reflects when we would expect to see a change due to collective revitalization efforts. Digging a bit deeper, this neighborhood’s homeownership rate had been declining since 2000 and hit its lowest level in 2010—this is a major shift in the other direction.
CADC Allentown Does, Too
The most recent crime reports out of Allentown indicate that serious crimes declined citywide in 2017 by 12%. In the center city neighborhoods where CADCA focuses its work, including its Neighborhood Partnership called Upside Allentown, crime declined by a robust 20%!
Allentown’s Department of Community and Economic Development Sticks It to Community Action
One would think that the award-winning transformation of Seventh Street by CADCA, the $550,000 in corporate contributions we bring to the city annually for Upside Allentown and countless other efforts, the city would do all it can to have us do even more. However, after more than two years of planning, pocked with lengthy delays by the city, Community Action was about to begin a $1.1 million housing rehab effort. We brought matching funds totaling more than $600,000.
Without warning, the department moved $700,000 that had been committed to us to Habitat for Humanity to build 8 houses on Tacoma Street, a long way from the struggling neighborhoods downtown. That Habitat took the money when they were originally going to lead the rehab effort but withdrew, citing inadequate capacity, is pretty low but I guess beating up a struggling nonprofit would be tacky
Wayne Barz Takes the Wheel for Community Action
Wayne Barz, long-time financing whiz at Ben Franklin Tech Partners, has taken the helm as president of the Board of Directors of Community Action. Wayne is an economist by training and a long-time, active board member, serving as the lead at CADC Allentown, The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, and now Community Action.