North and Locust Street: another example of SACA’s revitalization success.
The North and Locust Neighborhood is the third cluster in the SACA Homeownership Choice program. It replaced a deserted brownfield with 13 beautiful three-bedroom family homes completed in February, 2011. Like SACA’s earlier projects, these new homes are usually purchased by first-time buyers and often by the first in their family to even dream of owning a home.
Even after decades of paying rent to absentee landlords, many in our community just cannot believe that they could ever buy a home. As Nelson Caldero, a North and Locust buyer told us recently, “A lot of people have been in this city for 30 years or more and they still rent because they don’t have the information and they just don’t think it is possible.”
Nelson talks openly about his personal rehabilitation through imprisonment related to drug use, substance abuse treatment at SACA’s Nuestra Clincia, continued sobriety in a half-way house and finally, successful employment as a drug and substance abuse counselor. As part of his job, Nelson now uses his homeowner status to help others. “It motivates clients,” he said, “because they can see there is hope. When I first came to Lancaster I had no hope.” Now Nelson is attending community college and moving forward. He calls owning a home “a huge experience after everything I went through. To have a house – it is a dream come true.”