We told him it's more than just a real estate deal. We've got a business and a very successful one at that. We just can't sell it for what the real estate's worth.

There is a significant need for this sort of work in our county. A major portion of this community is living at or below the poverty line. We have a number of homeless in the city, too, although you may not see them.

We're different than the gas companies in that the pass-through charge for us is fixed as part of the transition to deregulation in Pennsylvania.

They could bypass all the federal stuff and get in touch with a city and say, 'What can we help you with?' ... It's just a common sense approach. The simpler it is, the more effective it is.

We don't factor in the cost of labor, only materials. If we included the actual price of the land, no one (low-income family) would be able to afford one our homes, and that's not the point. Even if someone gives you everything you need, the permit fee is still anywhere from $25-30,000, and depending on the size of the house, traffic impact fees can cost $15,000.

We probably won't be able to actually build a new house for a while, because of the (sewer) moratorium. What our first project may well be instead is a rehab project, taking an existing home and improving it so that it is inhabitable.

He actually had an entertainer who wanted to buy one of his cars, and that was going to bring in a lot of revenue. And that's what he was going to open his shop with.

We wanted to keep it going until late April and give employees plenty of advance notice. We didn't want to just bolt the door shut.

Materials for a project like that cost around $15-25,000. So the family would expected to pay that back over time, and participate at a level proportional to the work involved.