Jul 29, 2013

Money No Object For Allentown Public Housing

Cumberland Gardens, operated by The Allentown Housing Authority, was constructed in 1971. Remodeled several times since, it now is going through a three phrase total rehab. The unit cost of this current renovation is $228,000 per apartment. After the first section was completed in 2012, Mayor Pawlowski said, "And the second and third phases I think will not only be more amazing, but transformative to the city of Allentown," Transformations are expensive! Most Allentonians live in row houses built between 1895 and 1930. Many of us would consider a kitchen and bathroom from 1971 modern. The Housing Authority places most it's clients out to private landlords, with vouchers. This system places the cost of excessive wear and tear with the private sector. Considering how much the Authority spends on their own units, they should out source all their clients. Allentown would be a better place with a smaller, less ambitious housing authority; That would be transformative.

Bernie O'Hare also covers this story.


  1. "There have been less expensive, more direct ways of funding low-income housing in the past. It's not the best model, Farrell said, but right now it's the only model followed by the federal government."

    It's the government...deal with it!?

    I have been wondering about the Housing Authority and their projects funded with taxpayer dollars.

    How is this not a crime that we fund with public taxpayer money? I say that "wasting" money tearing down perfectly usable properties and building new ones is a "crime".

    All I'm ever told is, "this is how the Government does it, Rich!"

    I live one block from Cumberland Gardens. The housing units should have been RENOVATED not torn down and completely rebuilt.

    It's a crime. It's money that could be used much more efficiently and effectively to support the people who really need the help.

    If I told you that $228,000 was going towards the renovations of each TWIN unit, that would start to make a little more sense, yes?

    How is $228,000 per SINGLE UNIT effective?

    "The majority of the money will be raised through the sale of $11 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits to a private investor."

    Who is the "private investor"?

  2. Also...this information has been in the news several times in the past year. This is not NEW news.

    I have been wondering about this EXCESSIVE cost per unit. I was shocked when I heard this last September.

    Imagine if self-proclaimed Slum Lord, Joe Clark, used $220,000 per unit to fix up some of his Allentown row homes? What about all of the other Slum Lords out there, they could use this money to renovate.

    The Housing Authority REPORTS TO NO ONE! They are a damn AUTHORITY! Authorities are created by politicians that don't have the courage to make decisions that the public may use against them. In other words, they are really cowards, they let the AUTHORITY make the "bad" decisions.

    In this case, the Housing Authority has decided that $220,000 per unit is acceptable. Who will challenge them? No one.


    Wake up! Let's fix this now!

    1. Rich,
      the bisiness of city officials should be helping stabilizeing innercity neiborhood with adiquit tenaments¿ This is the only bisiness local government should be challanged to do,not build a attraction center first, first make home ownership attractive by palumpas main campaign quote qulity of life issues will be addressed. The quality of life is decressing with americas lust for drugs wich is the only viable bisiness in allentown and he tells his police force not to go in and handle his slumlordian freinds properties that are known drug houses to all¿ This is ofcorse if they are blind and there not they are just claiming ignorance of the facts.

      Most of the people in public housing except this as a way of life and some are in need of such help¿Than there are the ones taking advantage of americas tolerance and driving expensive cars that are priced about what the average inner city properties are worth if they were habitable¿ Drugs are being sold from federal housing units by people not on the lease yet they claim residence there and local athourities do not take proper action passing the buck saying that it is a federal issue but they all are sure to scim from the top for there pockets¿


  3. rich @1:42, some of the units are being renovated, after being torn out inside to the studs; the average cost per unit is still $228,000.00

  4. Allentown gets the Government (and all the various agencies and authorities) it voted for.

    So does Pennsylvania.

    So does the United States of America.


  5. Every time I go by those apartments in the winter, all of the upstairs windows are wide open, no matter how cold the temperature. Typical of government leeches not caring about how much anything costs and who pays. The great society in action, hard workers and the middle class loses.

  6. "How is $228,000 per SINGLE UNIT effective?"
    Maybe the price tag includes jacuzzis?


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