HADC acquires some of the most run-down properties in Allentown and transforms them into beautiful, modern homes with entirely new plumbing, electrical and heating systems. Even floor plans of the houses HADC renovates are altered to better meet the needs of modern families.
This is expensive work. It costs HADC between $135,000 to $150,000 to renovate each house. The homes are offered for sale at well-below market rate, usually below $90,000. Private contributions and government grants make up the difference between the sale price and the reconstruction cost.
Because the renovation work is subsidized with federal dollars, the sale of the houses is restricted under HUD rules to first-time buyers with household income in the low to moderate range.
As the oldest nonprofit affordable housing developer in the Lehigh Valley, and the only one working exclusively in Allentown, HADC has renovated hundreds of center city houses.
HADC is also the developer of the North Street townhouse project: 21 new townhouses HADC constructed along the 400 block of Allentown’s North Street (between Gordon and Liberty and Fifth and Penn streets).
Each of the new townhouses contains three bedrooms or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a family room, central air conditioning, Energy Star-rated appliances, covered front porches or patios in the rear and paved off-street parking.
The homes are listed for sale at between $124,900 and $130,000, well below market price.
Home-Buying Assistance – Who is Eligible?
The sale price of HADC’s North Street townhouses is heavily subsidized with government dollars, so only buyers from certain income categories qualify. Most houses are restricted to buyers earning 80 percent of Area Median Income, some at 50 percent of A.M.I. Estimate the yearly income of everyone in your household, and use this guide to determine if you are eligible, taking into account the number of people who will reside with you in the new home:
|Household Size||Max Allowed Household Income At 50% AMI||Max Allowed Household Income At 80% AMI|
All new construction and rehab work on HADC projects is performed either by HADC’s own crew of builders or by students enrolled in YouthBuild Allentown.
Most crew members are neighborhood residents. They came to HADC with few job skills and work for HADC full-time while receiving on-the-job training in the construction trades.
The crew is responsible for every aspect of renovation and new construction, including demolition of existing structures; site clearance and excavation; interior gutting and debris removal; foundation work; framing; roofing; masonry repair and brick laying; installation of plumbing, electrical and heating systems; hanging drywall; laying floors; installing cabinets and countertops; spackling; painting; concrete laying; and landscaping.
All members of the construction crew receive full-time wages and benefits, including health care and paid vacations.
Students enrolled in HADC’s YouthBuild program spend two days each week at HADC project sites receiving on-the-job training in the construction trades while they work to earn a high school graduation credential.
Students enroll for six months and are eligible for a living allowance while they participate.
The goal of YouthBuild is to equip young people with the skills and resources they need to be productive, employed and responsible citizens. So, in addition to the work experience they gain on HADC’s job sites, the students also spend time each week at The Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley preparing for their GED exam and at Lehigh Career & Technical Institute to complete lab work and obtain professional certifications. Life-skills training, leadership development and community service are part of the curriculum.
Neighborhood Partnership Program
Building a sustainable neighborhood requires the collaboration of strong partners. HADC’s chief corporate partners support HADC under the auspices of Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Partnership Program.
Administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development, the Neighborhood Partnership Program gives generous tax credits to corporations that make large long-term financial commitments to HADC.
Previous corporate sponsors of HADC’s Neighborhood Partnership Program were Air Products, Lehigh Valley Health Network, KeyBank (and its predecessor, First Niagara Bank), PPL Corporation and Wells Fargo Bank (and its predecessors, First Union and Wachovia Bank).
In 2017, HADC is enlisting corporate sponsors for another six-year Neighborhood Partnership Program cycle, beginning in 2017-2018. Companies are required to contribute a minimum of $50,000 a year to participate. They receive an 80 percent tax credit from Pennsylvania against their contribution. The contributions directly support HADC’s Affordable Housing and YouthBuild programs.