Disability Options Network (DON) Enterprise, Inc., New Castle Designated as Keystone Communities Elm Street

Harrisburg, PA — Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced that Disability Options Network (DON) Enterprise, Inc., has been designated as the latest Keystone Communities Elm Street Program. DON Enterprise, Inc. will be the administering agency responsible for implementing the revitalization effort in the Lower East Side neighborhood in the City of New Castle.

“The Keystone Communities Elm Street designation will help DON Enterprise and New Castle’s Lower East Side realize their vision for comprehensive and strategic revitalization,” said Sec. Davin. “This program is a critical tool that provides communities with catered and prioritized support, tailored specifically to their unique needs.”

The designation was effective March 2, 2021 through March 31, 2026.

As a DCED-designated Keystone Elm Street, New Castle will receive priority consideration under several Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) programs including the Keystone Communities Program, will be eligible for complimentary technical assistance and programmatic support from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) over the next five years and will receive priority status for various funding applications submitted to the DCED. New Castle will also be eligible for Neighborhood Assistance Program Enterprise Zone tax credits for private sector development within the designated Elm Street Program area.

“PDC is very proud of this recent Keystone Communities Elm Street program designation, guided by the leadership of Disability Options Network (DON) Enterprises, this initiative is a result of years of planning and the development of coordinated efforts from a variety of county, municipal, and neighborhood partners,” said Julie Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of PDC. “As a Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) Blueprint Community in 2014, New Castle has been well-positioned to benefit from FHLB funding. Now, as the newest Elm Street designation they will utilize this opportunity to leverage additional investment, which will provide an avenue for greater community impact, engagement, and participation in the future of the neighborhood.”

Elm Streets are one of four designations within the Keystone Communities Program. An Elm Street designation takes a holistic approach to long-term neighborhood sustainability by operating in cooperation with existing downtown or commercial corridor revitalization programs, including the Pennsylvania Main Street program, to better connect healthy neighborhoods and strong business districts.

Founded in 1987, the mission of the PDC is to build and support the capacity of local nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and individuals to enhance the overall well-being and sustainability of Pennsylvania’s core communities. PDC accomplishes this mission by engaging and educating local community leaders and volunteers to advance the sense of place, quality of life and economic vitality of the commonwealth’s downtowns, traditional neighborhood business districts and nearby residential areas.

The Keystone Communities program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between public and private sector that jointly support local initiatives such as the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities; social and economic diversity; and a strong and secure quality of life. The program allows communities to tailor assistance to meet the needs of specific revitalization efforts.

A Keystone Communities designation is a flexible tool for use in community and economic development for a variety of uses including planning activities, façade grant programs, accessible housing programs, and development grants, and designation applications are accepted at all times.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov

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