Nov 11, 2009
A Sacred Cow
If there was ever a town that doesn't need Habitat For Humanity, its got to be Allentown. CAUTION, THOSE WITH INCURABLE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, DO NOT CONTINUE READING. Allentown currently boasts the newest public housing in the nation, plus block after block of sub-prime defaults. Back in the mid 1990's, I opposed one of Habitats first projects in Allentown. They wanted to brick over one of the side windows of a property I managed, using one of their stock row house plans. At that time the Zoning Officer didn't even list that outrage as a needed variance. The Director of the Redevelopment Authority testified in their support. After I prevailed at the hearing, Habitat's Director told me "No one ever opposes us, we're such a sacred cow."
The "Cow" is currently at it again, pushing around the people of the St. Paul's Park Neighborhood Group. Over thirty of them showed up recently at a zoning hearing to protest Habitat's new proposed houses on a Walnut Street parking lot. The Allentown Planning Commission declined to schedule their meeting in the evening, to allow input from the working neighbors. Although the Redevelopment Authority owns houses that have been vacant for over a decade, Habitat is still encouraged to build more houses on needed parking lots. People would rather feel good about themselves, than do what's best for the city.