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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, March 31, 2017

Does Allentown Need Inclusionary Zoning?

A few years ago, my grandson's dog took off after a ground hog and was gone for two days. Though the story ended happily, I was among those recruited to scour the streets of Allentown, trying to find her. In doing so, I was stunned by the number of homes that were either vacant or posted. So it's hard for me to understand why an inclusionary zoning ordinance is needed in Allentown.

According to Zillow, there are 852 homes for sale in Allentown right now, and some of them can be picked up for a song. The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission has a report, but what is needed is one that explains the need for this kind of zoning in Allentown.

Any ordinance that is adopted, however, should be voluntary. I see nothing wrong with giving a developer incentives in exchange for affordable units. This is the approach used in Bethlehem. Anything more onerous would chill housing development at a time when residential real estate is still recovering from the Great Recession. It also could result in gentrification, which is what happened in Los Angeles and New York.  

11 comments:

george schaller said...

Bernie
I love the pic, but were is it from and is there running water and electicity to these beautiful tenaments?

Anonymous said...

Before any moves are made on inclusionary zoning we should concentrate on the properties that already exist. Oh, and make sure there is an operating housing department.

Anonymous said...

There little danger of gentrafication in Allentown. They should be so lucky.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the basic underlying reason for the NIZ in the first place to clear out the underclass from Downtown and the surrounding areas?

Anonymous said...

Inclusionary Zoning would prevent gentrification in Allentown.
It would guarantee families of low to moderate income housing in residential developments.
The key here is to give the developers incentives to do it.
Without inclusionary zoning/affordable housing all the units will be housed by you know who???
Just look at Strata 1, 2 and 3 in Allentown. Look at the make-up of those people who live there.
Inclusionary zoning diversifies the residential development.
However, it should only be used if the developer receives municipal funds..

alfonso todd said...

The effort to gentrify Allentown failed. Home buyers have to HAVE money and BRING money into the communities in order to CHANGE a community which is not being done. Landlords and companies have been raising their rents as much as possible before they out price themselves. But they never understood that families from NYC, NJ, and Philly are used to these prices and this area is NICE, so why would they move? THey get more apartment or house for less money.

- Alfonso Todd

Anonymous said...

11:41 I only see a few lights on in the Strata apartments. Not many people live in it.

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in the strata, we could only be so lucky to have hardly anyone here. The fact is, its mostly full, and is a shithole. Paper thin walls, you can hear your neighbor crapping. Dogs barking day and night. People partying throughout the night. Its definitely not luxery living.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Inasmuch as you can't even spell the word, you certainly don't deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Ok. That makes a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Have you seen the blighted and abandoned homes in Allentown with Pawlowski for Mayor signs on them? They are all over the place.