May 14, 2010

Why Poverty Square?

Earlier this week, readers of the local blogosphere wondered why Mayor Pawlowski would want a low income, low-rise in Center Square? Although the question was never answered, curiosity now centers on who will win the Sestak-Specter race? Our short memories serve our elected officials well. Pawlowski wants the project because he is a low income housing advocate who is currently serving as Mayor. Pawlowski came to Allentown in the mid 90's and successfully turned the Alliance for Building Communities into a growth industry. In 1998, when then Mayor Heydt won a national HUD award for making low-income homeowners, much of the credit rested with Pawlowski.
The city three years ago identified the need for homeownership in center city and its collar neighborhoods, and has since worked with the various city departments, the Allentown Neighborhood Housing Services, Lehigh County, Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, the state Department of Community and Economic Development, Housing Association and Development Corp., Alliance for Building Communities....*

When Afflerbach, as a mayoral candidate, announced that he would appoint Pawlowski as Community Development Director, that decision was praised by the low income advocates.
Mr. Pawlowski intimately knows what it takes to make downtown a better place to live and work. It has been his organization's mission to help provide affordable housing in Allentown and five counties. ABC operates on a budget of $3 million and manages more than 300 apartment units. As a result of this experience, Mr. Pawlowski understands the issues, dynamics and financial aspects of housing, knowledge that will help him and the new administration improve the city's housing stock.**

As Director, Pawlowski shepherded the PennRose income restricted project to Center Square. Voters shouldn't be surprised when a Republican talking point slips out of Specter's mouth, or when Pawlowski advocates for low income housing.

*July 02, 1998/ by Joe McDermott, The Morning Call
** November 30, 2001/ The Morning Call


Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
Permission to Offer an Alternative Opinion:
You wrote:
Although the question was never answered, curiosity now centers on who will win the Sestak-Specter race? Our short memories serve our elected officials well.

Perhaps your readers were considering the current strong Democratic pull in Allentown vs. what might happen should Sestak beat Specter next Tuesday, even with Specter enjoying strong White House support. If a Sestak/Toomey run results in a Toomey win, (as the political climate across the country this primary season seems to indicate), will Toomey open the
door for the unthinkable--an Allentown Republican mayor?

Anonymous said...

How old was Pawlowski when he got to town? If he worked at ABC, then Heydt, then Afflerbach, and now himself, and he's only 37?
How did he end up here in

michael molovinsky said...

he didn't work for heydt. during heydt's terms, pawlowski was director of the Alliance. heydt won the award during his second term in 1998. I believe pawlowski came to town around 1996. i do not know his age.

Anonymous said...

It's easy and inexpensive to see if Pawlowski's been doing a good job at code approved affordable housing. Start at Front Street and travel from one end to the other. Then go to Second and Third and Fourth Streets. Don't forget the small side streets that join these main arteries. Check out the housing. How does it look?

Anonymous said...

Ed's Record
Safer Streets -- Ed continues to rebuild the police force and has implemented a state-of-the-art surveillance network with more than 70 cameras watching city streets; according to FBI and Pennsylvania state police statistics, crime is down for the third year in a row.

Strong Fiscal Management -- Despite brutal economic factors that have crippled other cities, Ed has been able to provide surplus budgets by seeking new sources of revenue and cutting expenses. Despite these difficult economic times, Allentown maintains a multimillion-dollar surplus.

Community Revitalization and Economic Development -- Ed has spearheaded efforts to bring a half-billion dollars in investments and hundreds of jobs to Allentown, including Coca-Cola Park and the Iron Pigs, the PPL Plaza and Butz Building, and the 22-million-dollar redevelopment of the Exide Battery plant. Ed organized the transformation of the Hanover Acres housing project into a new mixed-income community. Ed will continue to push for redevelopment of sites like the former Americus Centre, Colonial Theater and the Lehigh River waterfront.

Quality of Life -- Ed has cleaned up crime hotspots and targeted irresponsible landlords, graffiti vandals and nuisance crimes. Ed is continuing to provide high-quality recreation in our community.

Courtesy of Ed Pawlowski Web Site

Anonymous said...

I do not know his age.
May 14, 2010 12:09 PM
Maybe someone will.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 12:52 found the information on the following website;

the purpose of this post is to explain why pawlowski included the corporate plaza housing project in the CDBG. Pawlowski is pro development, even if the project involves more low income housing.

please restrict comments to development and housing; general pawlowski bashing comments are not sought.

Anonymous said...


If Detroit can do this, why not Allentown and build new energy efficient qood quality construction single family row homes?

michael molovinsky said...

i believe the issue in allentown isn't with the buildings, but with some of the people, who are very hard core. the police reports, and the nature of the arrests and crimes, support this observation. new buildings, whether single family or multi-unit, will not address that problem.

Anonymous said...


Are you saying buildings do not leave pitbulls to run free without leashes?


Anonymous said...

Someone should check the solvency of Alliance for Building Communities. They are reportedly in worse shape than the City, all due to debt left them by Hizzoner as he moved through. I would be surprised if they survive the summer. I bet the downtown booster who owns the building next door is chomping at the bit to buy that building at upset price, then get money from Pawlowski to tear it down and build low income housing for his new Mediterranean restaurant. (sic). Really, he did build a ready made entrance into the side of his Butz building to make the new addition easy to attach, then covered it up until the timing is right. I can't reveal my name,as I am afraid of reprisals from Pawlowski, but I don't think he will look good when ABC and all its low income holdings and slum housing goes bankrupt. Check them out. They are no longer listed by the state as being a charitable organization able to solicit funds in Pennsylvania by the PA state department. They have no income and mountains of debt, and have let almost all of their staff go. The place is soon to join the list of downtown vacancies, and it was never included in any tax-free plans, so it will sit until sold to Butz at bargain rate. No one else would buy the place.

Don't take my word for it, investigate. This is the end result of the poverty magnet, Mike: You go down with it. Pawlowski can't escape responsibility for this, either.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:21, i'm not familiar with how viable ABC currently is. i do know that butz would have preferred to build from 9th st. to the alley, had the alliance been willing to sell their property at the time.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
This ABC information needs collaboration, but if true, is troubling. A recent staff member has jumped to an attractive city post.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
Perhaps you might consider a new entry on this Sunday Call story?

Allentown officials vow to crack down on unauthorized spending

Accounting and Auditing
Bowling By Jarrett Renshaw

''We screwed up, myself included. Let's fix it now, and moving forward, let's make sure it doesn't happen again.''

--Allentown Controller Bill Hoffman

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, continuing a practice of his predecessor, has routinely ignored a charter provision that prevents him from spending beyond the limits set by City Council.

Perhaps this is why the mayor recently introduced a new city logo: A City Without Limits

Anonymous said...

Sadly it appear another shooting took place early Sunday in downtown Allentown.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 12:36, unfortunately, shootings have become so common place, i prefer not to mention specific incidences on the blog.

Barry said...

A shooting a day keeps the tourists away....and us locals, too.

Anonymous said...

RE:A recent staff member has jumped to an attractive city post.
Who? What post?