A Regional Housing Strategy
About the Project
Housing has emerged as one of the top public policy priorities in Pennsylvania’s Southern Alleghenies region. It was singled out as a critical issue in Alleghenies Ahead—the shared comprehensive plan from 2018 for Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset counties. It was identified as a priority in the region’s Recovery and Resilience Plan in the wake of COVID-19. And several of the region’s communities have prioritized and studied the issue on an individual basis.
While housing is a clear priority in the region, it is not a straightforward issue. Multiple layers exist that need to be understood to support good decision-making with scarce resources. Vacancy and blight, for example, undermine the housing supply in many of the region’s communities. A shortage of good housing options are also a problem, especially as the region seeks to attract and retain younger households and skilled workers. And, despite generally low rents and prices, housing in the region is unaffordable to households with the lowest incomes, many of whom overpay for degraded housing.
Alleghenies Ahead on Housing is an effort to understand the different facets of this broad issue in the Southern Alleghenies in order to support decision-making at the regional, county, and local levels that aligns with clearly defined goals and market conditions. It represents a housing-focused extension of the regional planning that began with the Alleghenies Ahead comprehensive plan.
This project began in August 2022 and will be completed in December 2022. It is being guided by an advisory committee of local housing stakeholders and overseen by the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission (SAP&DC).
This Online Open House is an opportunity for the public to learn about housing issues that have been identified so far, and to provide input on housing priorities in the region's counties.
Input from this Open House will be used by the project partners to inform the development of policy guidance and strategies. Public feedback will be accepted through November 18th.
Go to the Alleghenies Ahead on Housing Public Survey and answer a series of questions that will take no more than five minutes to complete.