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NeighborWorks receives grant for innovative housing model

We are excited to announce that we are one of 15 NeighborWorks organizations recently awarded a grant from NeighborWorks America to explore or develop Shared Equity Housing models. Shared equity housing uses a shared ownership structure that makes a home affordable to a family while also ensuring the home stays affordable for the community over time. Some models include community land trusts, limited equity cooperatives, deed-restricted homes, and resident-owned manufactured housing communities.

We are particularly interested in a Community Land Trust (CLT) as it offers a way to create permanently affordable housing and address gentrification and displacement in Scranton. With the anticipated development of passenger rail service to NYC, these issues are expected to become more pressing over the next decade. CLTs also enable community control of land, aligning with our community’s values, as demonstrated by the Lackawanna County Land Bank. Moreover, a CLT can address the need for infill housing in Scranton’s dense neighborhoods, where available land is ideal for "missing middle" housing.

This is an opportune time to conduct a feasibility study to assess the potential impact of a CLT in Scranton. The City and its redevelopment authority have shown significant interest in establishing a CLT and have committed seed funding to the effort. A task force with representatives from municipal and community organizations, including NeighborWorks, has already been established. Additionally, work is underway to inventory and assess all properties owned by the City and Land Bank, which could provide the foundation for a CLT.

Our planning work will focus on assessing the feasibility of a CLT in Scranton. As part of the feasibility study, we aim to examine the capacity of our organization and partner organizations to establish suitable roles for each of us.

Stay tuned for more updates as work to create lasting affordable housing solutions in Scranton.

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