Oct 22, 2012
Allentown's New Public Housing
The announcement was for two hundred upscale apartments at 7th and Linden Streets in Allentown. If ever there were two phrases that don't go together, it is upscale and 7th and Linden. The apartments are to attract new residents into downtown, not the existing demographic. The existing demographic would be presumedly priced out, at $1,200 monthly rent. It wasn't that many years ago that The Morning Call prohibited property managers from using words such as luxury and executive in their advertising. We were told then that such adjectives were exclusionary, and promoted discrimination. Reilly, now tells us "This is the next piece in transforming downtown Allentown into a place where people really can live, work and play." I suppose that those who currently live, work and play there aren't really people, at least not the upscale kind. I'm not an opponent of gentrification, or what the young urbanists call mixed income neighborhoods. I know that Reilly could rent two of these units immediately. I know that over the course of a year that he could rent twenty such units, but two hundred? Until this Neighborhood Improvement Zone(NIZ) was created for Allentown's transformation, public housing was taxpayers subsidizing the tenant, it's now taxpayers subsidizing the landlord.