…because home is the foundation for life
At Chestnut Housing Corporation (CHC), we believe that a safe, permanent, and affordable home is the foundation of a healthy and fulfilling life. We provide affordable rental housing for families experiencing homelessness.
Each day in Lancaster County, 422 people are homeless and many others find themselves at risk of losing their housing. Burdened by Lancaster County’s rising rents and stagnant wages, an increasing number of families are facing hard choices about how to afford necessities such as housing, food, clothing, transportation, and medical care. Many Lancastrians find themselves just one crisis away from catastrophe, and the effects of the pandemic have worsened the situation for many of the most vulnerable families. Moved by this need, East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church created Chestnut Housing Corporation. The mission of CHC is to partner with people experiencing homelessness– transforming our safe, affordable housing units into their permanent homes.
In 2010, CHC acquired a single-family house in the 600 block of East Chestnut Street in Lancaster. After renovations, CHC welcomed the first tenants– who had been experiencing homelessness– at an affordable, below-market rate.
Once CHC paid off the first house through generous donations, church members provided the down-payment for a two-unit townhouse in the 500 block of East Chestnut Street. Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP) offered a long-term, low-interest loan for the remainder; CHC paid that loan in full.
LHOP and Eastern Mennonite Missions then financed CHC’s purchase and renovation of a third building in the 500 block of East Chestnut Street; we were also grateful to receive a grant for renovations from the High Foundation. In 2021, two additional apartments were built on the first floor of the building; construction financing w provided by the Lancaster County Community Foundation.
All in all, Chestnut Housing provides twelve units of affordable housing in Lancaster City.
To strengthen the foundation upon which our tenants stand, we mobilized community partners to work alongside our tenants to develop the skills and habits they need to be good stewards of their housing. Our community partners include Tabor Community Services, Milagro House, Good Samaritan Services, and CAP.
With your help, we can do more! In the years ahead, CHC plans to purchase and renovate additional units to bring even more Lancastrians home.
To donate or volunteer, please contact Shannon.