WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 14, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) –Governor Tom Corbett today announced that the Department of Community and Economic Development awarded the Housing Authority of Northumberland County a $500,000 Keystone Communities grant in an effort to eliminate blighted property in the county.
“We are supporting initiatives that partner with our local communities to transform blight into new opportunities for quality housing, business growth and job creation,” Corbett said. “This partnership will help revive several communities throughout Northumberland County leading to increased safety and new economic growth.”
The Keystone Communities program will provide funding support for the Northumberland Blight Remediation program. The Housing Authority of Northumberland County will work to demolish and/or rehabilitate 15 properties meeting the definition of blight under state law.
The project will involve remediating blighted properties in Coal Township, Mount Carmel Borough, Ralpho Township, Shamokin City and Sunbury City, as well as communities in the balance of the county with high incidence of blighted properties.
“Our community partners along with our elected officials all know the importance of a coordinated regional effect in dealing with blighted properties, every day we are seeing our local municipalities taking an aggressive approach on blighted properties and owners” stated Edward P. Christiano, executive director of the Housing Authority of Northumberland County.
The project serves a public purpose by dealing with unabated, blighted properties that pose a health and safety concern. Blighted properties may also realize depressed property values leading to a reduction in the local tax base, making it difficult for local governments to fund needed public services, including but not limited to police, fire, parks and recreation and code enforcement.
“Many thanks to Mr. Christiano for his hard work on this issue. It has been a pleasure working with him and the municipal leaders on such a vital issue in the Anthracite region,” said State Representative Kurt Masser (R-107). “I look forward to working jointly to secure even more avenues to address the issue, as blight can be like a cancer that affects entire neighborhoods.”
“This grant is good news for all residents of Northumberland County,” said State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-108). “Grants like this will help clean up blighted properties, make neighborhoods more safe, and strengthen our communities.”
The Keystone Communities program was created in 2011 to assist commonwealth communities in achieving redevelopment. The program supports physical improvements to both designated and other communities that are undertaking revitalization to restore deteriorated downtowns, residential neighborhoods and industrial/manufacturing sites.
For more information about the Keystone Communities program and other community development initiatives visit www.newPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972.
Valerie Caras, Governor’s Office; 717-783-1116
Lyndsay Kensinger, DCED; 717-783-1132