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--- Issued Dec, 13, 2007

The Housing Authority of the City of Erie continues to do its part to help the City of Erie address its financial issues.

On Thursday, December 13th, the Housing Authority presented a check for $78,359.66 to Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott as a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (P.I.L.O.T.). The presentation took place in Room 500 at City Hall.

From left, John Horan presents P.I.L.O.T. checks to James Barker,
superintendent of the Erie School District, and to
Erie Mayor Joseph
Sinnott at a Dec. 13 press conference at the mayor's office. Horan also
presented a check to Erie County Executive Mark DiVecchio.

"The Housing Authority has been a great quasi-private partner for many years and we're alway very grateful to John Horan and the Authority for remaining that way," Sinnott said. "It's great for the community."

In 2007, the Authority also paid the City $532,435 to support various services and functions, ranging from $476,665 for the C.O.P.P.S. supplementary police patrols in public housing, $48,930 for systematic code enforcement around public housing neighborhoods, and $6,840 for the youth swimming program at the City’s Rodger Young pool.

The Authority is also helping to soften the budget crunch for Erie County and for the City of Erie School District.

County Executive Mark DiVecchio received a P.I.L.O.T. check for $30,759.06. This is in addition to the 2007 Authority-funded county services costing $74,153, including adult and juvenile probation officers, and the Erie County Library.

James Barker, Superintendent of the Erie School District, received a check for $106,552.64. The Authority expended another $965,822.15 in 2007, for education-related services for children and adults, including English-As-A-Second-Language, GED, basic education, and after-school and summer programs.

"The Housing Authority has been a partner in Erie County for many, many years and for that, we cannot thank them enough," said DiVecchio.

Barker, too, expressed his gratitude. "The Housing Authority does a tremendous job for our youth." He said the P.I.L.O.T. money from the Authority would go toward such things as educating local youth for the 185 engineering positions needed by Erie's General Electric Company.

“We make P.I.L.O.T. payments every year to the three taxing bodies. We believe in paying our share to support governing bodies’ services and functions that benefit our residents and, indirectly, the entire community,” said John Horan, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Erie.

“Although the Housing Authority is, by law, exempt from real estate taxes, we make these payments to the taxing bodies for the services they provide to public housing residents. Providing financial support to our local governing bodies is the right thing to do even though we are tax exempt,” Horan said.

“We are limited by federal law as to the amount of the P.I.L.O.T. payments. However, we always pay the maximum amount permitted, and we help in many other ways,” said Horan.

Each year, since 1941, the Authority has provided voluntary P.I.L.O.T. payments to the City of Erie, Erie County, and the Erie School District. Counting this year’s contribution of $215,671.36 the Authority has paid a total of $6,128,214 in lieu of real estate taxes.

The Housing Authority of the City of Erie exists to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for lower-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, and to foster among the residents served by the Authority economic self-sufficiency and a sense of community and pride in the neighborhoods where they reside. The Authority owns and manages 2,150 quality housing units in the City of Erie for low- and moderate-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. In total, the Authority provides affordable housing to over 8,000 Erie citizens through its various housing programs.

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