Our neighborhood revitalization work is aimed at improving the communities that people live in. Since launching this work a number of years ago, NeighborWorks has made improvements to over 500 properties in our targeted neighborhoods of West Scranton and Carbondale. During this time, we have deployed over 1,800 volunteers (contributing over $1.3 million in labor) to make home repairs, improve blighted and vacant lots, and coordinate community events.
Blight to Bright
Through this joint initiative of the Lackawanna County Land Bank and NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, we are addressing blighted properties in our community. In December 2018, the Lackawanna County Blight Task Force released a plan for preventing, remediating, and redeveloping blighted properties. The strategies that are prioritized in the plan include:
- Raising awareness of existing rehab and repair programs for homeowners and landlords
- Ticketing for code violations
- Disqualifying bidders at tax sales
- Blighted property conservatorship
- Expanding resources for demolitions
- Permit denial and asset encumberance ordinances
- Incentives for private developers
- Actively marketing properties to developers
Now, an action team is hard at work implementing these strategies.
Each summer, we partner with Group Mission Trips to bring hundreds of youth and adult volunteers from around the Northeast United States to Lackawanna County to provide free home repairs to our neighbors in need. In 2019, more than 400 volunteers converged in Scranton and surrounding communities to provide painting, porch repairs, and wheel chair ramps for approximately 75 elderly homeowners.