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.
A new mural will decorate the walls of the alley
on the corner of Turner Street and E. Grand River Ave. The program called Art Spot allowed residents and visitors to choose from more than 10 sketches of prospective murals that could appear in the alley. “Local artists had the opportunity to submit sketches,” said Brittney Hoszkiw the executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association. “If chosen they will be the ones installing the murals. We hope to begin work immediately, but completion will depend on the weather.” The winners have not yet been announced.
The Residents of Old Town Group met Thursday, Sept. 22 and discussed a number of issues including the last day of the Old Town Farmers Market (Oct. 2). The ROOT Group was started in the winter of 2009, said Brittney Hoszkiw, the executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association. The group addresses issues “dictated by the members and their interests,” said Hoszkiw. Community empowerment is the main focus, she said. The group consists of residents, police officers and business owners in the area. Though the group includes police officers, Hoszkiw said they do not discuss crime, but leave those discussions to area Neighborhood Watch groups.