pawlowskiMayor Ed Pawlowski recently announced an initiative to improve some of the city’s most challenged neighborhoods to coincide with the revitalization of the downtown area.

The “Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods Program” was announced in front of a crowd of over 300 business leaders during a Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce breakfast held at Muhlenberg College. The city will spend $2.5 million to address blight remediation, housing redevelopment, home ownership, and streetscaping, partnering with the Allentown School District to target education and early childhood education programs.

“The neighborhoods are critical,” said Pawlowski. “It’s the one piece of the puzzle that we really haven’t addressed in its entirety. As long as we have people who are still living below the poverty line, we are never going to be a city that has truly succeeded.”

The Mayor also challenged the business community to match or exceed the $2.5 million that the City is investing. The funding comes from the remaining proceeds of $1 million from the Concession Lease of the City’s water and sewer system, and $1.5 million of unused federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership funds.