my information

--- Updated February 19, 2010

UPDATE: HACE has now obligated all of the funds -- $4.6 million – it had received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


The Authority awarded contracts at the November Board meeting for work that included replacement of the balance of the Authority’s older furnaces with high-efficiency furnaces at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments -- work that had begun last fall. Also awarded were contracts for renovations to the Authority’s service buildings at 2110 and 2120 East 10th Street at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments.

In addition, a contract was awarded for electrial improvements in 65 apartments at Pineview. All contracts are expected to be completed this summer. Already completed is work that began last fall to replace the antiquated electrical distribution system at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments.

Still ongoing is the replacement of 200 apartment entry doors at the Authority’s Eastbrook and Agnes Priscaro developments, and the installation of high efficiency furnaces at Harbor Homes and Harbor Homes Annex.

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Stimulus Provides Jobs, Improvements



Norberto Rodriguez, 49, a resident of Eastbrook, above,had been out of work for six months before federal stimulus money and HACE got him a job with A. A. Samuels Sheet Metal Co., installing high efficiency furnaces at various housing Authority sites. He now looks forward to a happy holiday season, thanks to HACE and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

“I am so happy to be working again,” said the married father of five. “I have been treated with a lot of respect by the company I work for and by the Housing Authority. I am very grateful to both.”

Rodriguez is one of a number of HACE residents hired by contractors to install new heating and cooling systems, electrical supply lines, and doors at Housing Authority sites.

The work on all these projects began in October and will continue through early summer 2010.

"It was going to be a sad Christmas, but this changed everything,” Rodriguez said. A U.S. Army veteran who lives in the authority's Eastbrook apartment complex, Rodriguez is one of at eight public-housing residents who have been put to work through $4.6 million in ARRA (federal Stimulus) funds granted by the Obama administration to the Erie Housing Authority, said John Horan, the authority's executive director.

“In our effort to assist those families hardest hit by the economic crisis, we have worked with contractors to provide employment opportunities to public housing residents in the Recovery Act-funded work they are doing for the Authority.” Horan said. He said contractors would likely hire at least two more Authority residents.

“This effort has not cost the Authority or the taxpayers one extra dollar," Horan said. "More importantly, the contractors are all extremely pleased with the caliber of the workers we have referred to them. When the work funded by ARRA monies is completed, we fully expect that these public housing residents will have worked their way into permanent and valued positions with the contractors.”

Horan called it a win-win situation. “The federal stimulus funds are paying for energy efficient furnaces, underground electrical lines to ensure uninterrupted power to our tenants, and new energy-efficient doors to our homes. Also, importantly, they are providing some of our residents with job opportunities.”

Horan gave credit to the contractors who are doing this work, totaling $6,228,194 in contracts, for agreeing to hire public housing residents.

The Authority received a total of $4.6 million dollars in Recovery (stimulus) funds from the Obama Administration toward this work. Horan said public housing residents are working for Keystone Electric, A. A. Samuels Sheet Metal Company, Inc., William T. Spaeder, and Flynn Construction Co.

Keystone Electric has begun work on a $1,209,000 contract to replace the antiquated electrical distribution system at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments; a $431,211 contract was awarded to Flynn Construction Company whose work includes replacing 200 apartment entry doors and leaky door-seals at the Authority’s Eastbrook and Agnes Priscaro developments; A.A. Samuels Sheet Metal Company, Inc, was awarded a $1,167,983 contract for providing and installing high efficiency furnaces at several family developments; William T. Spaeder was awarded a $1,550,000 contract for providing and installing high efficiency furnaces at Harbor Homes and Harbor Homes Annex. Spaeder was also awarded a $1,870,000 contract for providing and installing high efficiency furnaces at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments.

Energy-wasting furnaces will be replaced with energy-efficient ones in more than 1,000 apartments. “This should result in an annual savings in gas expenses of at least $250,000 annually,” Horan said. “The new furnaces will be 95% efficient. They will replace furnaces rated at 82% efficiency when installed. But because of their age, some of these old furnaces are only 65 percent efficient.

Regarding updating the antiquated electrical system, Horan said that, "What's happened in the last 10 years or so, it's gotten to the point where every time there's a strong wind or snowstorm or ice storm, we lose service out there. It's been really a big problem for us because every time that happens, we have to get an electrician out there on emergency basis to get the repairs made, and of course it's a hardship for residents who are without electricity, sometimes for a couple of days. This is going to solve all those problems.”

According to the HUD web site, “The Recovery Act will generate jobs, modernize houses to make them energy efficient, and help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis.”

“This Authority has designed use of Recovery Act funds to address the goals of the program in a precise and efficient manner. We are doing what the Act called for and then some,” Horan said.

He said the Erie Housing Authority is well ahead of the curve in providing employment opportunities for lower income families who reside in public housing.

“ Fully 40 percent of our regular work force were public housing residents when the Authority first hired them. Many have moved through the ranks into supervisory positions.

"Most have moved from public housing to home ownership due to the employment opportunity we provided.”

For more information, call John Horan at 814 452-2425.