Monessen is the 25th town to join the Westmoreland Land Bank, which offers partners the tools to repurpose vacant and tax-delinquent properties.
And what better way to draw attention to those properties than to have one featured on a national TV show?
A home on the 700 block of Second Street dating back to the 1920s will be featured on Monday’s episode of HGTV’s “Cheap Old Houses,” as hosts Ethan and Elizabeth Finkelstein talk with Mayor Matt Shorraw about their mutual admiration for older buildings and architecture.
“It’s great to see other people appreciate the older homes and buildings we have here,” Shorraw said. “I hope this sparks an increased interested in people acquiring them.”
Running over 10 episodes, “Cheap Old Houses” was inspired by the Finkelsteins’ popular Instagram feed, which features unique homes on the market for less than $150,000. During each episode, they tour a home and discuss its architectural features and historical significance.
Shortly after the show’s filming, the home was sold.
Shorraw said he hopes more of that will happen, thanks to the partnership with the Westmoreland Land Bank.
“This is something I’ve wanted to see for several years,” he said. “I’m hopeful that, through the land bank, we’ll be able to help potential homeowners and entrepreneurs obtain vacant properties that have fallen through the cracks and been tied up with absentee owners, liens and other issues.”
Land bank Executive Director Brian Lawrence said the bank is excited to bring Monessen into the fold.
“By utilizing land-bank powers, combined with the strategies expressed in the city’s comprehensive plan, we look forward to stabilizing neighborhoods in Monessen.”
For more, see www.WestmorelandLandBank.com. “Cheap Old Houses” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on HGTV, and can be streamed on the Discovery+ service.