Harrisburg Habitat Represented at Senate Roundtable on Urban Blight

The Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area affiliate took part in a Joint Senate Committee roundtable on ways to combat urban blight in the Harrisburg area.

The roundtable, hosted at HACC’s Midtown Campus, was led by the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee and Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, chaired by Senators David Argall, Thomas McGarrigle, and John DiSanto. It brought together leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to discuss the causes of and solutions to blight. Harrisburg Habitat’s Executive Director Yinka Adesubokan represented the affiliate alongside corporate representatives, county administrators, and Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. Addressing the floor, Harrisburg Habitat advocated the value of public partnerships with non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity in efficiently and effectively combating neighborhood blight.

Harrisburg Habitat is already engaged in one such partnership with Dauphin County’s Community and Economic Development program, whose executive director George Connor was also present at Tuesday’s roundtable. As reported in a recent article from WITF, the partnership is aimed at combating blight in Dauphin county, and is projecting to recover and refurbish two to three houses per year. Work is slated to begin on the first property, a house in Steelton that has been vacant for around twenty years.

The HACC Midtown Campus is situated in the Olde Uptown neighborhood, which has seen growth in recent years as a result of efforts to fight blight. It is also a few blocks south of the Camp Curtain neighborhood, where Harrisburg Habitat is currently partnered with the Camp Curtain Neighbors United group, a neighborhood revitalization project, to include a kick-off beautification day on June 1, 2017 from 3pm-8pm @ 5th and Camp St.