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--- Issued November 3

James Cassidy, Director, Public Housing Division, Pittsburgh Office, U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, praised HACE's "It's About People" credo at the November 3 groundbreaking ceremony for the Authority’s final phase of handicap accessible housing. The groundbreaking took place at 655 Tacoma Road in the John E. Horan Garden Apartments.

Breaking ground for the new accessible units are, from left. James D. Cassidy, Pittsburgh office of HUD; David Gonzalez, Erie City Council; Lucille Bell, public housing resident; John E. Horan, HACE executive director; Mark DiVecchio, Erie County Executive; and Agnes R. Priscaro, HACE Chair.

Breaking ground for the new accessible units are, from left. James D. Cassidy, Pittsburgh office of HUD; David Gonzalez, Erie City Council; Lucille Bell, public housing resident; John E. Horan, HACE executive director; Mark DiVecchio, Erie County Executive; and Agnes R. Priscaro, HACE Chair.

"More than any other Authority I can think of, with the Erie Housing Authority, it really is about people," Cassidy said. He said that besides the Erie authority's accessible units, it has a host of programs and activities for its residents that far surpasses anything he's seen offered by other housing Authorities.James D. Cassidy

James D. Cassidy

Regarding accessibility, the Erie Authority is one of the first housing authorities in Western Pennsylvania to achieve the 5% accessibility requirement. "We are proud of this accomplishment and very pleased to be in a position to better serve families from Erie who have members with physical disabilities," said John E. Horan..

The Housing Authority has been working since 2002 to make 5% of its public housing accessible to persons with physical disabilities. To date, the Authority has converted 94 apartments and houses at a cost of $12.9 million. This final phase of 14 new houses, costing $2.9 million, will bring the total of accessible housing to 108 (6 percent of Erie's total public housing inventory.)

When the final phase is completed in July 2007, the Authority will have accessible apartments and houses at each of its 15 public housing developments. Accessible units range in size from one-bedroom to five-bedrooms.

These final 14 accessible houses were designed by Weber Murphy Fox, Architects. Contractors for the final phase of accessibility work are: General Construction—E. E. Austin & Son, Inc.; Plumbing–George H. Althof, Inc.; Electrical—Electrical & Mechanical Systems; HVAC—R. E. North Company.

For more information, contact John Horan at 452-2425.