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08May

Troubling Discovery: Survey Shows More Than Half of Altoona’s Low-to-Moderate Income Areas Need Repair

A survey undertaken by the city planning office last summer involving examination of all 9,300 parcels in the low-to-moderate income areas of the city, showed that 20 buildings need to be demolished, 372 need to be rehabilitated and 4,881 — more than half — need to be repaired.

“This map raises grave issues,” states the narrative in the survey report.

The number of properties needing to be demolished is “manageable,” the report states.

“However, the number of properties that require rehabilitation is substantial,” it adds. “Worst of all, the number of properties requiring maintenance is staggering.”

Those properties needing maintenance may need rehabilitation or even demolition “in a few years, if nothing is done,” the report states.

The planning office undertook the survey to show the city is in compliance in using Community Develop­ment Block Grant money for a code officer and for the police department’s bike patrol in those areas.

The city over the past half-year has redoubled its effort to combat blight with a task force convened by Mayor Matt Pacifico, which recently gave way to a follow-up implementation committee, the report notes.

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