Latest in a series of posts about Neighborhoods
Dana Grubb is a lifelong resident of the City of Bethlehem who worked 27 years for the City of Bethlehem in the department of community and economic development, as sealer of weights and measures, housing rehabilitation finance specialist, grants administrator, acting director of community and economic development, and deputy director of community development.
There is a second issue with the volume of rental units proposed throughout the city and that is the destabilization of neighborhoods brought on by increasing rental units versus owner occupied units. Transient residents do not have the same investment in community that home owners do. A ratio of 70% to 30%, owned vs. rented housing units, used to be ideal, and 65% to 35% was acceptable. Tilting that equation in the other direction will create issues throughout Bethlehem similar to the kinds of issues Bethlehem has been dealing with in neighborhoods surrounding Lehigh University. Over time the conversion of owner-occupied homes to rentals in Southside neighborhoods has made code enforcement quite challenging and affected the quality of life in that area for decades.