Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

LVPC RELEASES EVICTION AND FORECLOSURE RISK TOOL - September 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

More than half of all renters and more than a quarter of all homeowners in the Lehigh Valley are burdened by their housing costs, according to a Foreclosure and Eviction Risk tool developed by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission at the request of city mayors and county officials.

The data-based tool was created to help county, municipal and community leaders identify the neighborhoods where housing issues are most likely to emerge now that   pandemic-induced moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures are being lifted.

The tool’s impact has led to a partnership between the LVPC and Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, in which LVPC housing data will be combined with the Federal Reserve’s economic data to identify communities with people most at risk of losing their homes or jobs.

<<LINK TO FULL ARTICLE>>

THE LEHIGH VALLEY WILL RISE AFTER THE PANDEMIC TO FACE CHALLENGES AND CAPTURE NEW OPPORTUNITIES - The Morning Call, August 5, 2020, Becky Bradley, Executive Director

As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into its sixth month, Lehigh Valley municipal leaders say their biggest challenges are declining revenues, the loss of community businesses, changing state and federal policies and the fear that another infection spike could be just around the corner.

In a brief survey conducted by the LVPC, elected, appointed and municipal staff representing 50 of the 62 Lehigh Valley municipalities voiced the many challenges they face as COVID-19 impacts families, businesses and municipal operations across the region.

The survey was sent to every municipality in advance of the LVPC-led virtual Lehigh Valley General Assembly meeting held June 30 to give municipal leaders a chance to discuss and coordinate on planning and government issues.

“We know that our municipal partners are facing challenges that no one has experienced before,” said LVPC Executive Director Becky Bradley. “We wanted to get everyone in one room, at least virtually, to take stock in what our communities are dealing with so we can tackle these issues together. The survey was part getting a feel for what the biggest needs are.”

<<LINK TO FULL ARTICLE>>

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT REMAINED BUSY THROUGH THE PANDEMIC - September 2020,
Matt Assad, Managing Editor

Developers proposed more than 2,000 new homes and nearly 4 million square feet of non-residential space in the first half of 2020, extending the region’s busy development period into a seventh consecutive year.

Despite a pandemic that slowed the economy and shuttered many business, investors continued to show confidence in the region, filing 196 plans on more than 1,800 acres of property from January through June, according to the LVPC’s BuildLV Subdivision and Land Development Six-Month Report.

“More than 2,000 new housing units in the first six months is a big number, and nearly half of them are single-family detached, which is a housing type that took a break for several years after the recession,” Becky Bradley, LVPC Executive Director, told commission members. “You can see that despite everything, it has been absolutely hopping.”

<<LINK TO FULL ARTICLE>>

WHEN THE WEATHER HAS IMPACT SIMILAR TO A PANDEMIC - September 2020, Matt Assad, Managing Editor

The LVPC has since March been closely following how the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted traffic across the region, but August offered an interesting example of another factor that can have just as much impact on how many people travel our roadways.

The weather.

The latest LVPC and PennDOT traffic counts showed the Lehigh Valley continuing its path to normalcy as workers and consumers gradually return to the road in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown orders. By early August, traffic declines of more than 40% during the height of the Pandemic were less than 5% below pre-pandemic levels.

But then came August 4. That day traffic at key points along Interstate 78, Route 33 and Route 309 fell 25%.

Why? That was the day remnants of Hurricane Isaias dumped 4.92 inches of rain in less than 15 hours, as measured at the Lehigh Valley International Airport. Just like that, nearly 60,000 vehicles that traveled along those key arteries the week before, didn’t take to the roads.

<<LINK TO FULL ARTICLE>>

<<LINK TO TRAFFIC COUNT GRAPHIC>>

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

961 Marcon Boulevard - Suite 310

Allentown, PA 18109

Phone: (610) 264-4544

Toll Free: (888) 627-8808

Fax: (610) 264-2616