Jan 2, 2018
The Cloud Above Allentown's Good News
Often when I read articles praising Allentown's revitalization I wonder on what planet the author lives? But I can understand how the out of town cub reporters can misinterpret the construction boom occurring in center city. After all, who could imagine an incentive program like Reilly's NIZ? Recently, Allentown was featured in an article noting its increase in home ownership. Once again, I'm afraid that there is a gap between the article's conclusions and the local reality.
The housing bubble burst in 2008 because far too many unqualified buyers were being approved for mortgages. In today's center city housing market there is another time bomb, seller's assist. People are buying homes with absolutely no skin in the game. There is a school of thought where urbanists think that homeownership provides the marginally qualified with roots. I'm not sure if that philosophy really helps a city in the longterm, but we seem to be inadvertently embarking down that path.