The Vital Role of the Executive Director of Scranton’s Redevelopment Authority

December 8, 2023

Scranton’s Redevelopment Authority (SRA) stands as a beacon of transformation. At its helm is the Executive Director, Shaquera Martindale, who is working to steer the City towards a brighter future, by tackling blighted properties, fostering neighborhood improvements, and enhancing the overall value of Scranton.

An opportunity to serve and improve Scranton’s communities aligns with Shaquera’s passion and expertise. Raised in a household that stressed community understanding and engagement, Shaquera pursued her MBA in Accountancy from DeSales University, and then became the Deputy Director of the Redevelopment Authority of Easton. She draws from her experience in university and government and upbring across socio-economic hardship, housing insecurity, and community disengagement to inform her work.

At the SRA, Shaquera and her team, in collaboration with the City, take a proactive stance against blight within City limits. Guided by the Urban Redevelopment Law of 1712, the Authority undergoes a rigorous certification process to acquire certified blighted properties through eminent domain. This strategic move not only allows the Authority to eliminate blight but also empowers them to initiate transformative processes, bringing properties back to code compliance and providing the community with safe and sustainable housing.

One of the pivotal roles of the SRA is its commitment to enhancing neighborhoods and increasing property values throughout the City. Functioning as an agent of the Commonwealth, the Authority specializes in real estate, mobilizes funds for redevelopment, and forges partnerships with both for-profit and non-profit organizations possessing the experience, resources, and credibility to revitalize distressed properties. Through strategic use of limited public resources, the Authority leverages larger private investments to deliver projects developed with a conscious intent to uplift and improve communities.

Central to the success of the SRA is the Executive Director, who steers the ship toward progress. With a mandate to direct and manage all operations, the Executive Director plays a pivotal role in expanding access to opportunities for Scranton residents and stakeholders. Reporting to the SRA Board of Directors and in coordination with the Mayor’s Office, the Executive Director leads several core functions on behalf of the City.

Among these functions is working on the expansion of access to affordable housing across Scranton. By spearheading initiatives that focus on affordability, the Executive Director ensures that Scranton residents have access to housing options that meet their needs. This includes addressing issues of blight, creating sustainable housing solutions, and contributing to the overall vibrancy of neighborhoods.

Beyond housing, the Executive Director actively fosters job creation, entrepreneurship, and small business activity to ensure that economically, Scranton thrives on multiple fronts.

Tthe Executive Director plays a pivotal role in supporting mixed-use redevelopment—a strategy that not only revitalizes physical spaces but also contributes to a diverse and dynamic community. By promoting a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces, the SRA, under the guidance of the Executive Director, contributes to a vibrant urban landscape that meets the needs of a diverse population.

In essence, the Executive Director and SRA embody a spirit of change and progress. Through strategic vision, collaborative leadership, and a commitment to community improvement, this role becomes a driving force behind Scranton’s transformation. As the City continues to evolve, the Executive Director remains at the forefront, steering the City towards a future where blight is replaced by opportunity and thriving neighborhoods.

Last modified: December 8, 2023

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