A new organization is promoting homeownership within our great city of Lancaster! The oldest inland city in the U.S. and one-time home of the Continental Congress, Lancaster is a very historic & beautiful town which is currently undergoing a renaissance of culture, which is carrying over into increased home ownership (currently estimated at 63%).
As a big fan of Lancaster City, I was pleased to hear of "Lancaster City Living", a new non-profit group with the express goal of increasing home ownership in Lancaster. I interviewed Michael Sprunger, the group's Executive Director, to get a feel for his mission:
Jeff: What was the big thing that helped you make the decision to join LancasterLiving?
Michael: I have been a resident and then homeowner in Lancaster city since the mid-80’s when I moved here from the Kansas City area. I knew someone from Lancaster County and came here for a summer job when I was a student at the University of Kansas. Lancaster County was nice, but the city was a jewel (something those who have never left Lancaster County/City Probably don’t realize). I was also bringing this appraisal of the place from my upbringing in the Far East (Taiwan and Hong Kong). I returned to school and moved back when I graduated. After 20 years of living in Lancaster City I thought I would enjoy working to make Lancaster city a better place and a more ideal homeownership destination. Lancaster City Living provided that opportunity.
Jeff: What do you hope to accomplish this first full year?
Michael: At the heart of Lancaster City Living’s work are two things – promoting Lancaster City is an ideal living location and trying to create an efficient process to bring together resources so that interested individuals could learn about the city, identify home buying opportunities, find a realtor, mortgage lender, contractor (if necessary) etc. We want to create the shortest distance possible between the desire to own a home in the city and the ability to see it happen. This is carried out through our website, upcoming magazine (Lancaster City Living: The Ultimate Guide to Owning a Home in Lancaster City!), and storefront (which is being designed right now). Other activities include the development of a “Preferred Providers” program (preferred, realtors, mortgage lenders, preferred contractors,..etc), working with large employers to increase the number of city homeownership employee incentive programs, Merchandising, specialized homeownership campaigns and the like. Lancaster city has seen explosive growth in commercial development. The housing market is the last piece in this process.
Jeff: How will Lancaster County benefit from your activities?
Michael: A high homeownership rate improves everything because the transience of too many rental units (as a percentage of overall housing) also translates into a psychological transience that causes many individuals to take little or no interest in the improvement of the community. Higher homeownership rates translates into better schools, lower crime, less trash and general blight. I believe Lancaster is well on its way to being a better place.
Thanks Michael, for your time & for your energy and enthusiasm for the city community!
For more information about Lancaster City Living visit their website or contact Michael. Be sure to visit the "Exploring Lancaster" pages - there is a wealth of information about specific neighborhoods and maps to help you find your way around. I list and sell homes in the city regularly so if you need additional property info feel free to email me.