Lancaster’s Spanish American Civic Association (SACA) was formed in 1984 to focus on the purchase and rehabilitation of vacant and blighted homes in Lancaster’s southeast quadrant neighborhood. This neighborhood is 63 percent rental properties. Lancaster City is 33.2 percent Hispanic.
The SACA Development Corporation rehabilitates numerous vacant and blighted properties and returns them to the housing market every year. The new or renovated housing units are affordably priced housing for low or moderate-income families.
The SACA also provides many other services: a senior center, meals, employment assistance, case management, HIV/AIDs./HepC counseling/testing, career development, training and adult education, youth programs, drug and alcohol education, student family liaison, behavioral health services, a drug and alcohol treatment facility, adolescent counseling and therapeutic services.
The SACA Development Corporation’s latest project is the near completion of 13 townhouses under their Homeownership Choice Program. These homes are priced at $99,600. Twenty-seven other homes were built or converted in two other phases prior to this third phase. An East Petersburg, PA contractor won the bid so construction was done by a Lancaster County company.
These are state of the art, energy-efficient homes with every conceivable convenience built in. Because these homes are new construction in Lancaster City, the owners will benefit from a tax-abatement program and pay lower property taxes. This third phase of transformation will reduce blight, reduce crime and stabilize the area with homeowners (stakeholders) versus tenants (transient residents).
The Homeownership Choice Program is available through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. Money also came from the city, the county, the Federal Home Loan Bank in Pittsburgh, PA Department of Community and Economic Development and Neighborhood Assistance program for tax credits. Lancaster based Fulton Bank was the construction lender.
Redevelopment really does take a village!