Slate Belt Rising is committed to the revitalization and historical preservation of the boroughs of Wind Gap, Pen Argyl, Bangor, and Portland. The Commercial Facade Improvement Program and Business Sign Program are designed to help improve the exterior appearance and condition of the commercial properties within the targeted boroughs. The program’s goals are to maintain historic and architectural integrity, improve neighborhood appearance, The commercial lease subsidy program is a pilot program to help encourage economic development and decrease commercial vacancy rates within the boroughs.
Commercial Lease Subsidy Program
Slate Belt Rising and Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) are introducing a pilot program, the SBR Commercial Lease Subsidy Program. The goal of the program is to strengthen our neighborhoods by minimizing or lowering vacancies in our business corridors and provide economic opportunities in Bangor, Pen Argyl, Portland and Wind Gap Boroughs. This program will provide businesses the support they need to get off the ground, helping to build more vibrant downtown areas that attract more businesses and the talent we need to build a competitive economy, thus creating a stronger and more resilient community.
Any new business opening or moving into one of the boroughs or an existing business looking to open a second location within one of the boroughs may be eligible to receive funding for a portion of their lease cost for the first six months of a two year commercial property lease. Businesses currently located in one of the boroughs that would like to relocate to another borough are not eligible.
Commercial Facade Program
Commercial Facade Before and After
Rising Tide Community Loan Fund – The goal of RTCLF is to support prospective, start-up and established small businesses whose risk factors make it difficult to obtain funds from traditional lenders, but who inevitably make up the backbone of a thriving local economy. Established in 2001, Rising Tide’s mission is and has always been to identify small business and community development credit needs that stifle the creation of economic opportunity in low-to-moderate-income communities of the Lehigh Valley and to meet those needs with affordable credit products. Rising Tide Community Loan Fund (RTCLF), a subsidiary of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit Community Development Finanical Instititution (CDFI). RTCLF is funded through loans, grants, and private contributions. Sources include local, state and federal government, banks, businesses, and individuals. For additional information visit http://therisingtide.org/.
Slate Belt Rising is committed to the revitalization and historical preservation of the boroughs of Wind Gap, Pen Argyl, Bangor, and Portland. The Residential Facade Improvement Program is designed to help improve the exterior appearance and condition of residential properties within the targeted boroughs. The program’s goals are to maintain historic and architectural integrity, improve neighborhood appearance, and help property owners make exterior repairs to their homes, while increasing property values for all borough residents.
Residential Facade Program
Residential Facade Before and After
Slate Belt Rising also works closely with the Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust a subsidiary of CACLV , Weatherization a program of CACLV., and Community Action Financial Services. These resources are also available to help homeowners with home maintenance projects and financial education/assistance.
Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust – The Lehigh Valley Community Land Trust is committed to strengthening communities by providing permanent, affordable housing in the Lehigh Valley. To create and preserve affordable homes for working families, the Trust either builds or renovates homes and sells these homes to income-qualified applicants in its program. Unlike many other home providers, the Trust is committed to promoting long-term self-sufficiency and success with homeowners. Homeowner support is provided both before and after the purchase of a home. For additional information please go to http://lvclt.caclv.org.
Weatherization – The Weatherization program provides Residential Weatherization Services, Energy Assistance Services, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Crisis Program. For additional information please call (610) 691-5620.
- Residential Weatherization Services
These services are provided under the PPL WRAP program, FirstEnergy WARM program, UGI Low Income Usage Reduction Program and the PA Department of Community and Economic Development Weatherization Assistance Program. Each program includes certain energy-saving home improvements and consumer education aimed at reducing energy consumption.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Crisis Program
The Energy Partnership, in conjunction with the Lehigh and Northampton County Assistance Offices, manages the LIHEAP Crisis program in the two counties. This program provides for repair or replacement of heating systems in cold weather emergency situations for qualified low-income households.
Community Action Financial Services – The mission of Community Action Financial Services is to provide low-moderate income families with a continuum of coordinated services in one location in order to better meet their housing and consumer credit needs and to build individual and community wealth. Some of the programs that are offered through CAFS are listed below. For additional information visit http://cafs.caclv.org.
Home Ownership Counseling – To expand home ownership opportunities, particularly for minorities and persons with lower to moderate incomes.
- To educate prospective first time home buyers to enable them to make an informed decision regarding home ownership.
- To assist those who proceed through the process of purchasing a home and provide the resources to promote successful home ownership.
- To inform the related industries about the needs of the community
Home Buyer Education: The Home Ownership Counseling Program will prepare you to become a homeowner. The HOCP seminar is organized into six sessions which are conducted on two consecutive Saturdays. During these six sessions you will learn about:
- Preparing for Home Ownership
- The Importance of Good Credit
- Shopping for a Home
- Obtaining a Mortgage
- The Closing Process
- What to Expect as a Home Owner
Upon completion of all six sessions, you will receive a certificate of achievement. The certificate should be presented to the loan officer at the time of completing the mortgage application. This will demonstrate that you are serious and informed about home ownership.
Individual Counseling: Individual counseling is also available to you during and after the home-buying process.
Staff can assist you with:
- Reviewing your credit report
- Document preparation prior to applying for a loan
- Determining your affordability
- Selecting the best mortgage for you
Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program: Housing Counselors provide assistance to homeowners at risk of losing their home to sheriff’s sale – a foreclosure diversion program in the civil division of the Court of Common Pleas in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Housing counselors meet with homeowners to prepare them for a Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Conference held in civil court. The Housing Counselor reviews loan documents and assists the homeowner explore options available which include bringing mortgage current, paying off mortgage, proposing a repayment plan, request a loan modification, etc. A proposal is developed to address the mortgage delinquency and is presented to the lender’s attorney prior to the conciliation. This conference is attended by the lender, lender’s attorney, a pro bono attorney representing the homeowner (Northampton County only), the homeowner, and the housing counselor..