The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Allentown (RACA) was formed on February 17, 1956, and is authorized to provide all of the services outlined in the Pennsylvania Urban Redevelopment Law of 1945. More specifically, RACA’s mission is to prevent and eliminate blight within the City of Allentown, particularly in the city’s Focus and Rehabilitation Areas (those center city neighborhoods adjacent to downtown). RACA achieves this objective by overseeing the Blighted Property Review process, acquiring problematic properties through the private market or from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, creating a pipeline of properties for local community development corporations’ First-Time Homebuyer programs, redeveloping key parcels, and providing direction to the City’s overall housing and neighborhood revitalization policy.
Looking forward, RACA plans to be more aggressive about going after blighted properties and ensuring that it acquires enough properties to meet non-profit developers’ programmatic needs. Authority staff members are also working to dispose of all properties currently in RACA’s portfolio, and create disposition plans for all properties coming into that portfolio, so that property management efforts will not be overly burdened as future acquisitions increase.