Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary of Community Affairs Rick Vilello joined local officials on a tour highlighting state-supported blight eradication work completed through Northumberland County’s county-wide blight elimination program.
“Northumberland County has developed a unique blight elimination strategy,” said Deputy Secretary Vilello. “A core belief of the Wolf Administration is that strong communities build a strong economy. By eradicating these deteriorating, collapsing buildings, we are greatly increasing the quality of life for residents, as well as giving them hope for the future.”
The tour, led by the Housing Authority of Northumberland County, included stops at the ongoing Shroyer Dress Co. demolition project funded in part by a $600,000 Keystone Communities grant, completed demolitions at Shamokin and Sunbury streets and Arch and Water streets, and the Arch Street recreation building.
The multi-organizational county-wide blight elimination program involves municipalities working to obtain and demolished properties identified as severely blighted. The Housing Authority of Northumberland County then redevelops the lots into projects addressing local needs, such as increasing the amount of affordable senior housing.
In addition to funding, DCED also provided technical assistance to help guide the county in using other tools to combat blight including Pennsylvania’s Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act and land banking.