Midstate county to partner with Habitat to fix blighted homes

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | May 16, 2017 1:08 PM

Kate Lao Shaffner/Keystone Crossroads

(Harrisburg) -- Dauphin County is creating what it calls a unique partnership to take on blight: working with Habitat for Humanity.

Dauphin County will pick out abandoned houses in need of major work, and pay for materials.

Habitat will provide the volunteers, and vet possible homeowners.

George Connor, executive director of the county's Community and Economic Development program, says he doesn't see a downside to the new setup.

"I don't care who it is or whatever neighborhood you live in. If you have a vacant, blighted eyesore in your neighborhood, you want that to be cleaned up. You want it to help increase the value on your home," says Connor.

Connor says the materials will be paid for by using gambling dollars that flow into the county because of Hollywood Casino in Grantville.

"You have some houses that are vacant, they're blighted, the grass is high, it's just an eyesore for a community, and directly across the street, you may have a house that has a nicely groomed yard and nice landscaping, the house is in great shape," he adds.

He says they're aiming to work on two to three houses a year, and have already selected the first one in Steelton, which has been vacant for about two decades.

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