The City of Reading and the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks have been awarded state Blight Remediation Program grants totaling $200,000 by the Commonwealth Finance Authority, as announced by State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11th district) and State Reps. Mark Rozzi and Manny Guzman.
“These state funds will help improve some neighborhoods in the city by offering quality, affordable housing options and revitalizing neighborhood infrastructure,” Schwank said. “I was happy to advocate for both of these projects and look forward to seeing the results.”
“Rehabilitating Reading neighborhoods’ is a priority,” Reading Mayor Eddie Moran said. “We are equally committed to bringing economic development as to invest in our surroundings. With these funds, we can now invest comprehensively and adequately in communities that urgently need improvements. Public investment and partnerships are essential to continue making our city more livable, walkable, sustainable and affordable.”
These are the funded projects:
Reading, Buttonwood Gateway West Improvements Project, $125,000
The project involves street improvements made to the roadway, curbs, ADA ramps, pavement markings, and the replacement of storm water inlets in the four hundred block of Miltimore Street. This road and sidewalk area has been designated by the city as a blighted area. Funds will be used for construction, engineering and infrastructure costs.
“I was proud to work behind the scenes to bring home this grant for the city of Reading to help provide some much-needed updates, improving traffic flow, stormwater management and pedestrian safety throughout the Buttonwood Gateway,” Rozzi, D-Berks, said.
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks, Berks County Blight Remediation Projects, $75,000
The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Berks (RACB), in partnership with the Berks County Non-Profit Development Corporation (BCNDC), will use the funds for a project located in the Reading’s “South of Penn Area.” BCNDC will perform the total rehabilitation on three properties they currently own. Once the three property renovations are completed, these homes will be sold to low- and moderate-income families in Reading.
“Our focus is investment into people who want to live and work in Reading,” Guzman, D-Berks, said. “Housing insecurity and blight have been a concern for some time throughout many areas and they have only become more important in the wake of the pandemic. This development is how we fix things.”