Pottstown has become Montgomery County, PA's warehouse for the very poor, mentally and physically disabled, sex offenders, petty criminals, bodega's, the drug addicted and the drug dealers who are often associated with gang activity, that serve them.
Pottstown is a densely populated urban center, comprising 5 sq. miles with a population of 22,000. Based on County Commissioners county-wide averages, Pottstown currently houses over 7 times the average number of voucher renters as found in other muncipalities. Within the 5 mile borough, there are also 4 public housing projects.
Our community suffers from one of the highest crime rates for a town its size in the whole of the United States, while much of our rental housing stock is dangerously unsafe posing serious environmental health risks to those who inhabit them and those of us who own homes here and live among them.
Before additional low-income projects are encouraged in our community we need State, County and Local governments recognition of our predicament and a plan to encourage responsible, market-rate investments to attract new homeowners to bolster the tax base.
We welcome arts and cultural endeavors, cafes and music venues, parks, gardens and sustainable activities that will make Pottstown attractive and safe now, and for future generations.
We contend that Housing Visions of Syracuse N.Y. has found a marketing niche that is being employed by other low-income tax credit developers when they refer to these developments as "Artist Lofts" or "preference given to appreciators of the arts". It is their objective to be profitable at 100% occupancy regardless the personal inclinations of their renters and a certain number of these tenants, under Fair Housing law, will be voucher holders.
We contend that the proposed location for the development, within a densely populated ward, places great strain on the infrastructure including roads, sewage and water pipes, storm drains, parking, municipal codes enforcement and police services.
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