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Split Opinion Over Proposed Low Income Housing Development

WILKES-BARRE – Residents who live in the Rolling Mill Hill section of the city have mixed opinions about a proposed low income housing complex.

The proposed project property along Dana and Grove Streets is owned by the Wyoming Valley Health & Education Foundation.

Officials said two dilapidated homes have already been demolished, and the former First Hospital Wyoming Valley is the next to go.

Representatives of Housing Development Corporation MidAtlantic in Lancaster told Newswatch 16 that it wants to build a community for 56 low-income families.

Unlike another troubled housing complex in the Diamond City, the developer says it will not pursue federal subsidies.

Some residents in the neighborhood have signed a petition against the idea.

“It`s quite a neighborhood. I want to keep it this way,” said Dan Hadvance. “The low income housing and whatever they want to put up, I just don`t want it period. I just don`t believe they`re going to do what they say.”

Other residents said they’re glad to see the blight go, but they don’t want another low-income housing development to move in.

“There`s more than enough trouble around here,” said Shawn Smith. “We’re trying to keep the trouble out of Wilkes-Barre, we don`t need more.”

Another neighbor whose home is surrounded by the property said he’s in favor of the development.

“Their property line is right here, see this driveway where my car is at. That`s their property,” said Gary Nash. “The way they describe it, I like it. It`s not subsidized housing.”

Officials with the developer said the project is years away from a reality, and the next step is a zoning hearing set for next Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre.


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