WYALUSING — An open field in Bradford County could soon be filed with townhomes.
Government grants for a new affordable housing project in Wyalusing have recently been approved.
David Burgess from the Hayseed Group, the company that owns the property, said the need for affordable housing in the borough is at an all time high.
“The Marcellus Shale and the gas folks moved into our area and they very quickly rented all the available housing,” said Burgess.
Mission First Housing is the non-profit group behind the new complex, which will be called the Wyalusing Meadows.
The group explained why Wyalusing was picked for the new site saying, “Rents have tripled and approximately one-third of Bradford County households, including long-time residents, are being priced out of the homes in the community they have grown to love.”
The owners of the land said that seven acres will be a part of that first phase on construction. That new area will stretch from State Street in Wyalusing to Third Street.
Mission First said the 50 new townhouses will be available to people who make less than $34,530 a year.
Business owners in Wyalusing said new housing means new customers.
“I think it will be great for the community. I think it will be a good deal. More people, more business,” said Bob Squier, owner of Bob’s Restaurant.
But not everyone is on board.
Alro McMicken has lived in his home on Third Street in Wyalusing for 42 years and said he’s enjoyed the view from his backyard. “They say it will not affect our serenity in this area and i’m afraid of what it’s going to do and we’re going to get some undesirable people in our area.”
But that may change once the new housing is complete.
“Some of that view has been taken away in the past and now they’re going to take it all away. I don’t like it,” said McMicken.
Mission First Housing construction in Wyalusing should begin later this year.
The group also plans to eventually build an additional 100 units on the property focusing on senior housing.