Thursday, March 01, 2007

I Owe My Soul to the Company Store

It looks like an old Western Pennsylvania tradition is coming to the Centre Region as a way of addressing the affordable housing problem. Lance Shaner announced today in the CDT that he plans on building an updated version of the coal patch for his employees.

It is my hope that this information may be useful to other companies considering how they might participate in addressing this matter.

  • We are committed to building 20 affordable housing units in the community located within the State College Area School District.
  • Our objective is to provide a pathway to eventual ownership of these units (probably townhouses) by our associates.
  • The Shaner Group will provide up to $2 million of total investment to make this project a reality within the next 24 months.
  • We will be talking with local officials in an at-tempt to keep impact costs and fees for sewer and water hookups as low as possible in the development of this project to help ensure that it will be truly affordable when it is completed.
  • Our development and construction department will also provide services to the project including construction management, site development and the like at no charge. We will ask our friends in the construction business to help keep construction costs as low as possible.
  • We will be asking the banking community to step up and provide the most favorable financing available to assist qualified associates in gaining ownership of their units.
I hope Mr. Shaner has thought this through. For example, how will he handle owners in the patch that leave his employ either voluntarily or not?

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