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Lancaster City Hall. (Photo: Rachel McDevitt/WITF)

(Harrisburg) — A faith-based nonprofit group plans to renovate ten properties in Lancaster, after the landlord who owns them came under city scrutiny last year.

IMPACT! Missions has an agreement with Dwain London Sr. to buy the homes by the end of the year.

The city had alleged London was running illegal boarding houses and filed legal action to bring his rental properties into compliance.

Executive Director Matthew Beakes said they purchased the three buildings in the worst shape first, because they didn’t want them further deteriorating.

“That was also part of the criticalness for us to take those three properties first, and then the rest of them are phased in. As we sell two of the properties, we’ll purchase the next one,” Beakes said.

The homes are mostly in the city’s southeast neighborhood.

Once rehabbed, they will be sold to first-time homebuyers.

“Our goal is really to stay below $130,000 because that’s what our belief is…$130,000 or less is what we believe affordable housing truly is,” Beakes said.

The nonprofit plans to spend about $100,000 buying and rehabbing each of the properties. Financing for the project is provided by Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership. 

Any profit will be rolled into IMPACT! Missions’ work doing renovations for low-income homeowners.

Deed restrictions will require that the properties never be converted back to rentals.

Beakes said he hopes encouraging homeownership will increase pride and safety in the neighborhood.