{HARRISBURG} — Affordable housing in Harrisburg is on the rise, and Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams took representatives from the White House on a tour to a pair of finished locations in the city on Tuesday.

Tom Perez, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for President Joe Biden, is on a nationwide tour. He is highlighting affordable housing options in cities across the country. Director Perez and Mayor Williams visited homes on the 1500 block of Swatara Street and 200 block of Hummel Street.

Both homes have been completed in the last 18 months by Tri-County Housing Development, using funding from President Biden’s federal initiatives.

“One of the main goals we had when my administration started was increasing what was, at the time, a depleted stock of affordale homes. Lots throughout the city sat vacant or blighted, and we all know by now the connection that has on neighborhood crime,” said Mayor Williams.

In addition to completing projects on Swatara and Hummel Streets, Mayor Williams’ Department of Building and Housing Development has overseen seven groundbreakings for affordable single family or apartment homes. Mayor Williams also allocated $8 million in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan funding, dedicated for additional initiatives for affordable housing in Harrisburg.

“I am so inspired by the work being done here by Mayor Williams and [Tri-County Executive Director] Gary Lenker, day after day,” Perez said. “Your two senators’ relentness involvement in getting the American Rescue Plan passed so that we could in fact do the work we are doing now. There is much more work to do, but so much has been done.”

Mayor Williams added, “We are inching closer to our goal of making sure anyone in the city who needs an affordale place to live has the ability to rest their head easy at the end of the day.”

One of those people is Damon Taylor, a Gulf War veteran who was living unhoused in Harrisburg before getting help at the Lebanon Veterans’ Affairs hospital. He learned of the affordable housing in Harrisburg through Tri-County Housing Executive Director Gary Lenker. Today, he owns a home along the 1500 block of Swatara Street, and works full time as a screen printer.

“I don’t know what heaven feels like, but [owning your own home] feels close,” Taylor said. “I was in the homeless veterans program for eight years, and they took great care of me. They gave me a chance to live, got my credit together, and I ended up here. It feels great, to have something you can call your own or even pass on.”

Swatara Street homes toured by Mayor Williams and Director Perez were funded, in part, by $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding made available by the Department of Housing & Urban Development. The Hummel Street homes were made possible through $500,000 in ARPA grants made available through Senator John DiSanto’s office.



Matt Maisel, Communications Director
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(717) 255-7295