A blighted home sits on 12th Avenue in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Min Xian / WPSU

Altoona’s Blight Task Force released a plan Wednesday to address the city’s rundown property problem. The plan looked at the extent of blight in Altoona and recommended next steps.

Over the past five months, the task force surveyed the city's housing conditions. They found more than half of about 9,000 parcels of land surveyed are in need of minor repairs, such as a new coat of paint. Meanwhile, nearly 400 parcels require major repairs and even demolition.

Altoona Forum
Kate Lao Shaffner/WPSU

Altoona area residents who came to the Keystone Crossroads/WPSU public forum described their hometown with these words:

  • full of promise
  • sad
  • isolated
  • a nice place to raise a family
  • nostalgic (some say to a fault)

And the word "nativism" came up a fair amount. This simultaneous nostalgia, sadness and hope was a common theme in discussions among the 60 people who attended the forum at Penn State Altoona's Devorris Downtown Center on Tuesday evening.