Zoning proposals could help with affordable housing shortage

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – It could soon be easier to convert Lancaster buildings into apartments.

Proposed zoning changes would allow smaller buildings to be converted.

Andrew Szalay, the executive director of Lancaster Lebanon Habitat for Humanity, has called for similar changes in the past. He said the changes could add more housing units to fight an affordability crisis.   

“If you can go ahead and improve a smaller building on a lot that may not normally be permitted for residential, and making it so somebody could live in there comfortably and safely and up to code, that’s better for everybody,” Szalay said. 

Other changes would include making more properties residential.

Szalay said those against the change question what the proposals would mean for the quality of homes. 

It’s unclear how many more livable spaces could be added if the proposal goes through, but Szalay said he applauds the city’s effort to attack the affordability crisis.

“If you’re able to provide more units into the mix, it does help,” he said. “If nothing else, just level out what the costs are.”

City councilors could vote on the proposals next month.

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