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United Way of Lancaster County


City Council completes reallocation of $2 million in ARPA for housing

Clockwise from top left: Stevens College students work on a duplex at 640 S. Franklin St.; a rendering of The Apartments at College Avenue; a new roof installed through Lancaster city’s critical repair program. (Source: OUL file photos)

City Council this week passed two ordinances to reassign $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to support affordable housing.

Council members approved both ordinances by unanimous votes at their Tuesday meeting.

The first provided $300,000 to Lancaster’s critical repair program to underwrite grants to low-income homeowners for essential repairs. The second directed $1.7 million to four construction and renovation projects, as follows:

  • HDC MidAtlantic – The Apartments at College Avenue: $500,000
    • Use of funds: Offset about $575,000 in additional costs on the roughly $23 million project, which will provide 64 units of dedicated affordable housing at 213 College Ave.
  • HDC MidAtlantic – College Avenue Phase II: $300,000
    • Use of funds: Payment for “predevelopment” professional services, including architectural, engineering and legal work, for two HDC affordable housing projects, the “Delp Wing” on the former St. Joseph Hospital campus (25 units) and new construction at 838 Marietta Ave. (50 units). The tentative total budget is $26 million.
  • Partners With Purpose: $400,000
    • Use of funds: Renovate two three-bedroom townhouses: 419 Reynolds Ave. and 549 S. Christian. Both are three-bedroom townhouses. They are among Partners With Purpose’s portfolio of 95 “scattered site” properties, which are rented to Section 8 voucher holders. ARPA is covering just under 100% of the project budget.
  • Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology: $500,000
    • Use of funds: Underwrite one of the four affordable duplexes Stevens College is building at 640 Franklin St., the former Shell Disposal & Recycling site. The eight units will be sold to city households making no more than 80% of county median income. The tentative total budget is $1.5 million.

The city’s ARPA committee selected the four funded projects from among seven submissions, using criteria such as number of units produced, affordability protections and whether applicants could spend the funds by the end of 2026, the deadline for ARPA set by the federal government.

A rendering of Lancaster-Lebanon Habitat for Humanity’s planned Wheatland Avenue project. Click to enlarge. (Source: Provided)

The other three submissions were Lancaster-Lebanon Habitat for Humanity’s eight-unit 913 Wheatland Ave. project, for which it sought $350,000 toward a $1.7 million estimated budget; and two South Ann Concerned Neighbors projects: Its community hub at 259 S. Ann St., for which it sought $274,000 toward a total budget of $896,805; and the mixed-use project it is planning adjacent to Sevens College’s duplexes, which would have commercial space downstairs and two three-bedroom affordable housing units upstairs. For that project, South Ann Concerned Neighbors requested $250,000 in ARPA toward a budget of $2 million.

One United Lancaster obtained redacted copies of all seven applications through a Right to Know request.

South Ann Concerned Neighbors previously received $250,000 in the city’s “community facilities” ARPA round toward its hub project, which would create a community center offering a variety of services and amenities to the neighborhood. It applied this time around because the project includes renovating two apartment units at the site and adding a third.

As for Habitat for Humanity, City Council awarded $450,000 in ARPA to the 913 Wheatland Ave. project in 2022. That rendered it ineligible this time around, said City Councilman Jaime Arroyo, who served on the ARPA committee.

The committee approved Partners With Purpose’s application, despite the lack of other funds being leveraged, in part because of the 2026 deadline, Arroyo said: “With a shorter timeline to complete these projects, it was important to fund projects that we believed can get across the finish line per the ARPA requirements.”

City Council had initially awarded the $2 million to underwrite 46 affordable units at The Yards, a $60 million, 226-unit project planned at Lititz Pike and Marshall Avenue. Its developer, Parcel B Development Co., relinquished the money after determining that the bidding and prevailing-wage requirements that come with it would drive the overall project costs significantly higher.

In all, City Council has dedicated $10 million from ARPA to affordable housing, about a quarter of its total allocation of $39.5 million.