Four vacant plots of land on Clark Street in South Williamsport may soon be used to build four homes for low-income families, according to representatives from the Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity.
Sale of the land is in its final stages, according to Duane Hersberger, who said official transfer should take place in June or July with construction on at least one home happening shortly after.
“We’re looking forward to continuing to build new homes, in fact building more at a faster clip than before,” Hersberger said.
Since 1990, the county habitat has built 41 homes in the region. While it has solely focused on building new homes each year, Hersberger said it is now branching out to revitalizing blighted or severely run down houses as well.
This new direction brings habitat in line with efforts from the city government and Lycoming County to renovate blighted properties, according to Hershberger.
As housing mortgage interest rates skyrocket above 5%, buying a home is nearly impossible for low-income families.
Clive Rainey began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity when it was first founded in 1976. Rainey now travels to Habitat chapters throughout the country, evaluating the needs.
“Some places are worse off than others because housing has not been considered a community issue,” Rainey said. ”Or people aren’t paying attention to the fact that housing is absolutely the core of your economic situation.”
Rainey said it’s important for the community to come together to solve housing problems – pointing to the need for partnerships among all housing organizations in the region.
“Enhance the conversation and then look for ways to address each of those areas and say, ‘Who do we need involved in this?’”