The Yorktown Community
Now in its 50th year, Yorktown is thriving and still stands as a testament to the resilience of the original 635 homeowners and the Yorktown Community Organization, formed in 1963 to serve as the collective voice of the community, advocating for the rights of the residents, reminding them of their responsibilities as homeowners in a unique community, providing programs and services and monitoring zoning changes, public policies and private development activities in Yorktown and the surrounding neighborhoods. The organization’s accomplishments include youth activities and athletic programs, cultural enrichment opportunities and neighborhood safety and beautification programs.
In 1988, the Yorktown CDC was established to lead efforts to plan and develop new housing, housing preservation, and community economic development initiatives. Yorktown CDC’s financing of this plan is particularly important and somewhat unique in that the organization provided the principal source of funding to underwrite its costs. In effect, their own “first dollars in” represent an early infusion of equity demonstrating an organizational commitment to the central theme of the plan, which is to create a blueprint for ensuring Yorktown’s survival as a neighborhood of homeowners and its sustainability as a community of stakeholders. Supplementing their own resources to make this plan possible, and to whom Yorktown CDC is immensely grateful, are three sources committed to the preservation of Yorktown: an institutional investor, Opportunities Industrialization Center of America (OICA), through its Strengthening Communities Fund; the Philadelphia office of the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC); and an individual investor, Mr. Leroy Artison, a long-time Yorktown homeowner and resident. The only return each expects from their investment is the implementation of recommendations developed by the residents of Yorktown, as outlined in this report.