Since 1989, BHA has helped to transform the block where we are located by purchasing distressed and abandoned properties and rehabbing the houses into apartments. These apartments are used to serve the single mothers with children in the Transitions Program. BHA has invested over $1.4 million dollars into Hummel and Mulberry Streets and has been called the catalyst for the improvements that have taken place in our area of South Allison Hill.
BHA got its start in 1989 when Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren donated 207 Hummel Street to the newly formed Brethren Housing Association. Other buildings followed, and within a few years, we were owning and managing several apartment buildings on the corner of Hummel and Mulberry Streets in Harrisburg. In recent years, we’ve completed the following housing rehabilitation projects:
The Ray Diener House: We acquired a house that had been used for drug-related activities at 203 1/2 Hummel Street for $3,000. We then stripped the inside of the building down to studs and rehabilitated the entire building including removal and rebuilding of the rear addition; new plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems; new drywall, kitchens, baths and flooring. In September 2013, we cut the ribbon on the Ray Diener House, rehabilitated with the help of the Diener Family and many other community partners.
Ellie’s Garden: On a site where 6 blighted buildings once stood, we now have three townhouses and a beautiful greenspace, which has been turned into a flower garden, playground and picnic area in memory of Ellie Miller.
Hummel Street Townhouses: Through a collaboration with PinnacleHealth Systems (now UPMC Pinnacle), we demolished six blighted buildings and built three brand new townhouses. The project was funded through partnerships with local community organizations, foundations, and donors.
Gerri Royer House: 203 Hummel Street was acquired in 2014. This building had been a problem property in our neighborhood and was the only building on the northeast corner of Hummel and Mulberry Streets that we did not own. It was rehabbed in memory of Gerri Royer, a long-time BHA supporter, with the help of her family and many community partners. With the completion of this project, we are also able to expand our existing community yard space to connect four other BHA properties.