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---Issued December 18

A public hearing on the Erie Housing Authority’s 2007 Agency Plan will be held on Wednesday, December 20, 2006, at 6:30 p.m., in the community room at the Marsha Ann Hall Learning Center, 1841 East 18th Street.

The plan is a document submitted annually to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by each housing authority in the country, which details how authorities will spend federal funds for construction, renovation, programs, equipment, and services. The Erie Housing Authority’s Agency Plan for 2007 details how $3.6 million in public housing funds will be spent in Erie.
According to the 2007 Agency Plan, the greatest portion of this year’s $3.6 million capital fund budget -- $2,268,736 – will go toward improving and maintaining dwellings, including dwellings that are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Other planned expenditures include $296,647 for the Authority’s Community-Oriented Police and Probation Services (C.O.P.P.S.); $352,200 for HomePLUS social services at Schmid Towers and Friendship Apartments; and $55,284 for congregate evening meals at Schmid Towers, Friendship Apartments, and Ostrow Apartments. About $30,000 will be spent to improve and revitalize neighborhoods surrounding Erie’s public housing developments.

Other highlights of the 2007 Agency Plan include:

  • Efforts of the Authority to increase its public housing occupancy rate, which was at 90% from October 1, 2005, through September 30, 2006.
  • Job Training: The Authority continues to work with the Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation to develop the Joyce Savocchio Business Park, adjacent to Harbor Homes. In October 2006, Paragon Printing Systems, Inc., was welcomed as the first business to relocate into the park. The Housing Authority, in partnership with Paragon Industries and future businesses at this park, will provide job training and employment opportunities for residents of nearby public housing communities.
  • Construction of 14 handicap-accessible houses. This will complete our goal of making five percent of our public housing inventory accessible to persons with disabilities.
  • Continue our efforts to revitalize neighborhoods surrounding public housing sites.
  • Increase the number of Section 8 families who participate in the Self-Sufficiency Program.
  • Complete a comprehensive physical needs assessment, including a review of all our community facilities to assure compliance accessibility requirements.
The Agency Plan also contains information on the proposed use of capital funds over the next five years.

A draft of the 2007 Agency Plan was on display for a 45-day comment period at the various Housing Authority offices, from November 1st through December 15th. The Authority will consider all comments before final action is taken on the 2007 Agency Plan submission.

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