Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Could LV's Vacant Churches Help Provide Affordable Housing?

Allentown Council person Daryl Hendricks has indicated several times that he's concerned about the large number of vacant churches in the Queen City. They often fall into disrepair and become fire hazards. Allentown's problem is by no means unique. Churches are being shuttered, not just in the Lehigh Valley, but across the country. According to ICMA, approximately 100,000 of the nation's 384,000 houses of worship will be closed within the next few years. Why not use them for low and moderate-income housing? 

Churches are closing because less than half of us consider ourselves church members. 

These have often served as sanctuaries for those who've fallen on hard times, with food banks and soup kitchens. Church basements have often been used as community centers. 

While each situation is different, I believe many churches can be repurposed to provide community centers, senior centers, gyms for urban youth and apartments for low and middle-income renters. Ideally, the repurpose would continue some of the functions previously provided by a church. 

Some Allentown activists have suggested tiny homes. I have often advocated their use, and not just fior the homeless. But that should be just one solution. Repurposing vacant churches could get them on tax rolls and provide decent homes.  

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why don't every democrat family volunteer to take in one homeless person for 6 months. It would really be an example for everyone. This would be real compassion. This forum has the followers and could be instrumental in dealing with this human tragedy.

Anonymous said...

You'll get your wish and a program will be created to convert churches to drive-through abortion clinics and low-security prisons for those refusing CoViD vaccinations. Our new country is really great.

Meanwhile, you should check your sources re: homelessness. There's no way our compassionate new government would open borders while there are still homeless on the streets and people looking for work. This is not who we are.

Anonymous said...

An ideal solution for a modern problem. While church’s close and Catholic Diocese seek protections via staged bankruptcies, huge buildings sit idle and hundreds live in the streets. Suggest BO interview Bishop and address this obvious flaw within the ‘love thy neighbor’ sphere.

Anonymous said...

5.21
" take in one homeless person for 6 months"
try
https://www.npr.org/2015/12/10/459100751/utah-reduced-chronic-homelessness-by-91-percent-heres-how

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have provided shelter to a homeless person, but only for a few days. I have friends who have done the same, both liberal and conservative. Agent 99, one of my sources, is a hared-core conservative. She is also dedicated to the homeless, and does all she can to help them. That has included providing shelter.

Anonymous said...

try
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-04-15/architect-homeless-design-tiny-houses-and-shipping-containers