Last updated: February 16. 2014 11:23PM - 2312 Views
By John DiMaria

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The Sherman Hills Task Force will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday in the council chambers at the Luzerne County Courthouse. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The hearing will include witnesses from housing-focused entities, a former Sherman Hills tenant and a local non-profit service provider.

Among the witnesses are Scott Kline, vice president of the National Housing Trust Enterprise Preservation Corp., an advocacy group for affordable rental housing for low-income individuals and families, and David Patton, codes administrator for the City of Harrisburg and consultant for the state Department of Economic Development, the Governor’s Office of Housing and Community Revitalization under former Gov. Ed Rendell.

The task force was formed in response to a recent report by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which paid Sherman Hills $1.7 million in 2013 to provide low-income housing at the 344-unit complex.

Members of the task force are: U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic; Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton; state Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Twp.; state Rep. Eddie Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre; Wilkes-Barre Council members Bill Barrett, Maureen Lavelle and George Brown; Luzerne County Council members Tim McGinley, Harry Haas, Ed Brominski and Eileen Sorokas; Wilkes-Barre NAACP President Ron Felton; the Rev. Shawn Walker, pastor, First Baptist Church; and Angel Jirau, executive director, Spanish American Leaders Serving All.

“Our main focus is to begin the public conversation about the multifaceted set of problems concerning Sherman Hills,” said Cartwright. “I look forward to hearing many different ideas to address the issues facing the complex.”

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