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March 28, 2012

Penn Avenue Townhomes Ready Ahead of Schedule

Penn Avenue Townhomes Ready Ahead of Schedule

Kristin Harty Barkley
Cumberland Times-News
Published March 28, 2012

2012 — CUMBERLAND — The first group of townhomes at the site of the former Pennsylvania Avenue School should be ready to rent by the end of May — ahead of schedule, thanks to a mild winter.

“We didn’t think we’d get the first building until the end of summer,” said Patti Penn, property manager with Interfaith Housing Alliance Inc., which is building 25 townhomes for low- to moderate-income families. All of the homes should be ready for tenants by summer’s end, she said.

“These townhomes are going to have new washers, dryers, balconies, yards, central heating, air conditioning,” Penn told Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim and members of city council during a brief presentation Tuesday night.

“There’s huge walk-in closets, lots of storage space. There’s dishwashers. There’s so many amenities. It’s going to be a wonderful place for people to live.”

To qualify to live in the development, applicants must earn 50 percent or less of the average median income for the area, said Penn, who has received around 50 applications so far and is beginning to narrow the pool. Tenants can opt to buy their townhome after 15 years.

Councilman Nick Scarpelli said that he has driven by the development recently and is impressed by how nice the townhomes are. Councilman Butch Hendershot, who grew up in the neighborhood, agreed.

“I’m just delighted that you came along at this time and changed a property that was blighting into a property that’s beautiful and is going to do a lot of things for our families,” Hendershot said.

To get more information or an application to rent one of the homes, call Penn at 301-687-0363. For more information about Interfaith, a regional nonprofit that provides affordable housing opportunities, go to

Contact Kristin Harty Barkley at

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