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Non-Profit Organization Kicks Off Home Ownership Program In Coatesville


COATESVILLE—Coatesville’s Movement CDC (CDC) this week kicked off its home ownership program as more than 60 people learned about incentives in the Federal Opportunity Zone.

CDC officials reviewed the goals and objectives as the first step in securing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Keystone Communities Elm Street status.

A large part of the meeting was taken up discussing the home ownership program and the homeowner rehabilitation program that the CDC seeks to establish. Another topic of interest was the financial packaging of grants for the Ash Park Swimming Pool, which is expected to open on May 29, 2021.

Fonz Newsman reported that the CDC has received $200,000 and will be seeking $284,000 from Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s “Urban Counties Program” through Chester County.

As the goals and objectives were reviewed, there was a particular interest in moving the County Office Building from Westtown to Coatesville. Residents were vocal about the difficulty of getting to Westtown through public transportation. There was also a consensus on establishing a dog park.

Through the public input process, the goals were amended to include language that would state the position of the CDC concerning gentrification. The setting up of a Coatesville landbank was discussed as a strategy to funnel houses to residents seeking homeownership opportunities.

Affordability and access to the system plague many of the residents of Coatesville as they incur a housing cost burden, by exceeding 30 percent of household income. An astounding 66.3 percent of Coatesville renters experience housing cost burden. To further complicate the affordability issue for the current renters is the promise to bring regular SEPTA rail commuter service to the area.

 
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A March 2018 Econsult study for SEPTA showed that the current end of the Paoli/Thorndale line showed an average 12.5% increase ($46,600) average impact per house that is transit proximate. The Train Station renovations planned are situated in a ¾ of a mile transit proximate to many of the rental units in Coatesville.

Many long-term residents, see the current revitalization effort as not inclusive and more interested in investors than the needs of the mostly minority population. Resident Nydea Graves called for an “equitable and fair revitalization for the poor and working-class people of Coatesville” through the implementation of a community benefits agreement to include a local hiring preference for residents.

A second meeting is scheduled for Dec. 10 at the New Life Christian Fellowship 1 S. Fifth Ave. The public is invited.