Blogger's Note: The following is a press release from the MOSAIC Community Land Trust of Pottstown.
The MOSAIC CommunityLand Trust of Pottstown has hired its first Executive Director. Pottstown native Sue Repko began her duties on Feb.1.
“We’re very excited to have Sue leading us during this early phase of the land trust. She brings a wealth of experience in the nonprofit world and in the development of affordable housing,” said David Jackson, president of MOSAIC.
Ms. Repko was a founding member of the Community Land Trust (CLT) in 2010, along with Mr. Jackson, Dave Garner, and Chris Huff.
The mission of the CLT is to acquire properties and buildings in Pottstown, rehabilitate them, and sell or lease them at affordable rates using the community land trust model. Under this model, the CLT will retain ownership of the land beneath any properties that it sells, lowering the cost for the homeowners, who are automatically members of the CLT.
This ongoing relationship allows the CLT to provide support in the areas of maintenance or financial counseling, if needed, all of which can act as a stabilizing influence in a neighborhood.
The CLT plans to do more than housing, though. Its first project is a community garden to be built at 423 Chestnut St. this spring with a $30,000 grant from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.
Other donations have already been received from Genesis Housing/Susquehanna Bank, Lowes, Davey Tree Experts, Andrew Monastra, Esq., the Borough of Pottstown, and many other individuals and volunteers. The property was donated by the Pottstown School District.
“The support from the community has been amazing,” said Mr. Jackson. “When we received word of the grant for the garden, we knew it was time to hire someone. Through her blog, PositivelyPottstown, and other activities over the past two years, Sue has brought people together to make connections and get things done. That’s the spirit of the CLT as well. It’s a good fit.”
Ms. Repko holds a masters’ degree in urban planning from Rutgers University, and she is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. While living in New Jersey, she worked for the Section 8 federal housing program, municipal and state government, and in a private planning firm. She also served on a local planning board and the boards of a Montessori pre-school and an autism non-profit.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great group of people at MOSAIC, who are creative and passionate about making things better,” she said. “Plus, I got my start in affordable housing and community development, and I’m glad to be doing this work in my hometown.”
While the Executive Director position is part-time to start, the organization hopes to expand it to a full-time position within two years. In addition to the community garden, MOSAIC runs an art gallery at its office at 10 S. Hanover Street and is in negotiations for its first residential rehabilitation project in Pottstown.A series of outreach meetings will be held in February to inform residents about the community garden and the process for becoming a member. For further information about MOSAIC or the community garden, visit their website at www.mosaiccommunitylandtrust.org,