Lancaster Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (we call it “L-hands”), founded by members of Grace Lutheran Church in 1998 as a non-profit corporation, received 501(c)3 status from the IRS in 2000. In 2004 we were approved as a CHDO (Community Housing Development Organization – “chodo”), based on our work in a neighborhood which is a HUD-designated revitalization area, as well as our commitment to renting or rehabilitating and selling homes to folks who earn at or lower than 80% of Area Median Income (called “Low-Mod. Income Families). Our volunteer board is made up of Pastor Stephen Verkouw of Grace Church, and six other members of the congregation.
Our mission: to acquire and maintain real properties in the area of N. Queen and James Streets in order to work to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood by rehabilitating and improving the appearance of housing units, to pursue justice by implementing fair and reasonable rental agreements with tenants who are in need of low-cost housing, and to extend the mission of Grace Lutheran Church by providing opportunities for her members and neighbors to engage in acts of charity and outreach on behalf of others.
Currently we rent ten apartments in five houses on East James Street, across the street from the church, which are owned by Grace Church and managed and maintained by LHANDS. We also own and rent a single family home next to the church office on North Queen Street.