WEST READING, Pa., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary C. Alan Walker toured West Reading today, applauding the collaboration between the public and private sectors to significantly improve the local community by reducing blight and renovating existing buildings.
"Strong communities define quality of life and play an important role in determining the success of local and regional economies," Walker said. "The partnerships formed to revive this community in West Reading will lead to new economic growth and jobs for the people that live here."
West Reading was DCED's second designated Keystone Elm Street community, receiving a $300,000 grant award from the department. The West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation will administer the funds and will focus on the borough's Center Point Neighborhood. With buildings dating back more than 100 years, the program will focus on renovating existing housing units, and making streetscape, lighting and water and sewer infrastructure improvements.
Walker was joined by local elected officials and the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation on a walking tour of the borough that included 13 homes that received facade and streetscape improvements. The news conference was held outside of a recently acquired property that is part of the property, acquisition, rehabilitation and resale project. This initiative encourages investors to purchase and rehabilitate dilapidated homes to rent.
"Communities that are able to secure private sector support by forging public-private partnerships will achieve long-term success," Walker said. "The Corbett administration will continue to support projects that embrace neighborhood collaboration and establish long-term plans for sustainability."
West Reading will continue its rehabilitation efforts as an Elm Street community through partnering with local foundations and organizations. Reading Hospital and Medical Center is now a major partner in this revitalization effort and other partners include the local Janssen, Berkshire Charitable, Colonial Oaks and Wyomissing Foundations.
For more information about the Keystone Communities program and other community development initiatives visit www.newPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972.
Steve Kratz, DCED, 717-783-1132
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development