Habitat for Humanity Lansing has joined with the Old Town
Commercial Association to continue its mission of bringing affordable
housing to low-income families.
“We just recently joined the Old Town Commercial Association so that we get more involved there and create some relationships with the businesses,” said Dena Vatalaro the development director for Habitat for Humanity Lansing. “Now that our fall fundraiser is over, we will be reaching out to them.”
Habitat Lansing has also worked with the Ingham
County Land Bank to build homes, including a project west of Old Town on 1719 Robertson Ave. While this location is not in Old Town, the Land Bank has expressed the need for more residential housing in and around Old Town.
“Old Town, I think, suffers from a pretty significant lack of residential dwellings,” said Eric Schertzing, Ingham County treasurer and chairman of Ingham County Land Bank.
Habitat Lansing completed one project in the Old Town area in 2010 and three in 2009, according to the Habitat for Humanity website. A house at 1433 Massachusetts Ave. was renovated last year, while 1633 Massachusetts Ave. was remodeled in 2009.
1719 Vermont Ave. and 1540 Ballard St. were both constructed by Habitat Lansing in 2009 in partnership with local churches.
OTCA does not see the need for creating more residential
housing, but instead making existing homes more livable.
“Based on vacancy rate in the surrounding neighborhoods there doesn’t seem to be a need,” said Brittney Hoszkiw, executive director of the OTCA, when asked about increasing the number of homes. “However, programs like the
Landbank have identified the Old Town area as a concentration area for taking
vacant or blighted properties and making the appropriate improvements to get
them back on the tax roll.”
“They [Habitat Lansing] will receive member service and assistance from our office in business development, marketing and promotion,” said Hoszkiw, about the terms of the partnership.