Scranton Area Community Foundation to Host NEPA Housing Lab

The Scranton Area Community Foundation (SACF), in partnership with the City of Scranton and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, is hosting “NEPA Housing Lab: Developing Strategies for Impact” on Friday, April 14th from 9 AM – 4 PM at the Radisson Hotel in Scranton. Participants of this workshop-style event will develop steps to address critical housing and homeownership issues in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

This workshop-style event will engage with local stakeholders, funders, and lenders to advance the expansion and accessibility of affordable, attainable, and quality housing in Scranton and the Lackawanna County region. Led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Pennsylvania, the Housing Lab consists of two tracks: Affordable Housing Development and Homeownership. Participants will engage in presentations and panel discussions throughout the full day event. Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti will provide opening remarks.

The NEPA Housing Lab developed out of previous community roundtable discussions hosted between 2020 and 2022 by SACF in partnership with the City of Scranton and other community partners. In these discussions, community members identified lack of equitable housing as a major issue facing the region.

“The affordable housing crisis is everywhere, including Scranton”, said Mayor Paige Cognetti. “We are seeking solutions and are looking forward to working with experts locally and from outside the region to understand what might work, what might not, and most importantly, to move ahead as quickly as possible.”

Alongside Mayor Cognetti, the NEPA Housing Lab will also feature the followers presenters & speakers: Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO, SACF; Vivian Williams, Community Initiatives Manager, SACF; Maggie Martinelli, Chief Operating Officer, SACF; Teri Ooms, President & CEO, The Institute; Eileen Cipriani, Director of Community Development, City of Scranton.

Panelists will include Ira Goldstein, President of Policy Solutions, The Reinvestment Fund; Fred Bañuelos, Community Investment Business Development Manager, Federal Home Loan Bank Pittsburgh; Dana Hanchin, President and CEO, HDC MidAtlantic; Chris Casciano, Senior Vice President of Credit Union Operations, Community First Fund; Leslie Winder, Director of Community and Economic Development, Urban Affairs Coalition; Abraham Pardo, Director of Housing, The Urban League of Philadelphia; Coleen Baumert, Director of Homeownership Programs, PHFA; Pamela Anslinger, Homeownership and Financial Services Manager, NeighborworksNEPA.

An afternoon session, “Exploring Solutions and Moving to Action”, will be facilitated by Samantha Porter, Senior Manager and Advisor, and Patricia Bell, Community Engagement Associate, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

“NEPA Housing Lab: Developing Strategies for Impact” will take place on Friday, April 14th from 9 AM – 4 PM at the Radisson Hotel in Scranton.