Lackawanna housing plan backedBy Harold McNeil
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
February 8, 2011, 12:00 AM
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The Lackawanna City Council on Monday agreed to support a national developer’s plan to construct 40 single-family rental homes for low-income residents in the city’s 1st Ward.
The NRP Group, a full-service developer, general contractor and property manager, is seeking to buy the city-owned parcels and land for a clubhouse as part of a development that would be called Lackawanna Homes.
City officials have offered to reduce the initial asking price for the 40 parcels to $225,000, from more than $300,000, to demonstrate support for the development, City Council President Charles Jaworski said in a Feb. 2 letter to the company’s vice president of development.
Second Ward Councilman Geoffrey Szymanski was the only one of the five lawmakers to express reservations about supporting the project.
“I’m not against this project. I’m just simply a little bit confused as to the direction this is at right now, and I’m not exactly comfortable with [Jaworski’s] letter that we are approving,” Szymanski said prior to a Council vote.
After Monday’s meeting, he explained that he had conducted a basic Internet search of the company and learned that several cities around the country have been clamoring for similar NRP Group developments in their communities.
Once completed, Szymanski said, the single-family homes would be rent-to-own properties, allowing renters to purchase the houses at a reduced price after 15 years of continuous renting. After that point, he said, the properties would become available to those renters for a purchase price of about $33,000 each.