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--- Issued Jan. 31, 2011

The Housing Authority of the City of Erie is serving more people than ever before in its 73-year history.

The Authority provided housing assistance to 3,067 families as of December 31, 2010, said John E. Horan, executive director of the Authority. “This is an all time high,” Horan said.

A total of 514 new families, elderly, and persons with disabilities received housing assistance from the Authority in 2010. This represents an average of two families per working day throughout the year.

These figures were among the achievements cited by the Authority’s Annual Report for 2010, which details accomplishments of the Authority for the past year. The Authority’s Board of Directors approved the report earlier this month.

“The poor economy is responsible for about 10 percent of our occupancy increase,” said Horan. He said the 2010 increase in those served is due in large part to the fact that at the end of 2009, “We reorganized the Authority’s entire operation, from application through lease signing, to make everything more efficient and more effective.”

The report also cited these Authority accomplishments:

· Of the 514 new families provided housing in 2010, 343 were in Authority-owned housing and 171 were through the Section 8 Program.

· The maintenance workforce made 370 apartments/houses ready. This was up from 247 in 2009.

· There were 60 vacancies in public housing at December 31, 2010 compared with 216 on December 31, 2009. The Authority reached 97 percent occupancy in November 2010.

· 85 percent of residents feel safe alone at night in their home or apartment, and 89.9 percent feel safe alone during the daytime in a parking area.

· Of the residents living in senior citizen housing, few reported any serious problems.

· 80 percent of residents are satisfied with maintenance “always” or “most of the time.”

· 85 percent of residents are satisfied with the manager’s office “always” or “most of the time.”

· 90 percent of residents would recommend their housing to friends and family members.

· Total rent collection was up $494,238 over 2009.

· Utility expenses were down $54,943 and gas consumption was down by 13 percent.

· Employee overtime was down by 35 percent.

· The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s score for the Section 8 Voucher Program was 99 out of 100, gaining for the Authority a "high performer" award in HUD’s Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP).

· The Authority reached a milestone regarding persons with disabilities. The Authority now has 110 fully accessible apartments and houses, having spent more than $15 million over the last seven years for renovations to houses, apartments, and community facilities.

Established by Erie City Council in 1938 to address the needs of low-income families, the Authority now provides affordable housing to over 7,500 individuals, Horan estimates. “That’s more than 7 percent of the city’s population,” he said.

The complete 2010 Annual Report is available here.

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