--- Issued February 15, 2013

According to our recent 2012 Safety and Services Resident Survey, more than half (58.2%) of the 997 residents of the Erie Housing Authority who responded were born in the United States, with the next highest percentages from Puerto Rico(15.0 %), "other" (6.8%, see paragraph below), Iraq (4.0%), Ukraine (3.7%), Somalia (3.1%) and less than 3% from Russia, Bosnia, Bhutan, Sudan, Burundi, and Nepal.

For the 6.8% of respondents from other countries labeled “other,” above, their places of birth included: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Burma, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

"The diversity of cultures in public housing shows “the richness of the Erie public housing experience,” says John E. Horan, executive director of the Erie Housing Authority.

“Many of those from other countries were ripped from their original homeland by war or religious persecution. Their long and often perilous journey to Erie is reminiscent of many earlier waves of immigrants who came to this country in search of freedom and opportunity.

"Most of our immigrant families have several other things in common: they all value education, they all work for a living, they all pay taxes, and they all are, or soon will be, proud United States citizens.

"The country and Erie are better for the contributions made by the many cultures that have found a safe haven in America, guided here by the torch of Lady Liberty. For however long they reside in Erie’s public housing, we are all richer for the experience of being one family of many cultures."

The kick-off date for the Authority's 75th Anniversary year is March 13, 2013.

"For all that these residents bring to us, in this our 75th Year, we at the Housing Authority of the City of Erie have one thing to say to them, and indeed, to all of our residents who enrich our lives,"  says Horan.

"Thank You."