my information

--- Issued February 26, 2013

On February 16,  the Erie Times News printed the following article:

Erie Housing Authority marks 2012 achievements

By ERICA ERWIN, Erie Times-News

The Erie Housing Authority served more families, kept occupancy rates high and cut utility costs by double its goal.

Those and other achievements, outlined in the authority's annual report to its board of directors, helped make 2012 a "very good" year for the agency and its residents, Executive Director John Horan said.

"Overall it was a very good year, especially given the funding situation at the federal level," Horan said. "We've had to absorb tremendous cuts over the past couple of years in both our operating budget and our capital fund budget. ... Notwithstanding that, we have still served more people, and we did it at a very high level."

Capital grant money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development decreased from nearly $4.3 million in 2003 to $2.8 million in 2012. The authority's federal operating subsidy decreased from $6.7 million in 2010 to $4.4 million in 2012, according to figures from the authority.

In 2012, the authority:

  • Provided housing to 3,036 households, including 416 new households. That number includes families, single individuals, senior citizens and people with disabilities.


  • Averaged a 97.4 percent occupancy rate each month in 2012, about the same as in 2011. Demand for public housing remains high. As of Dec. 31, there were 536 eligible families on the authority's waiting list, Horan said. The wait to be placed in one of the authority's developments or homes varies based on the family's size and needs. "There's is a real need out there," Horan said.


  • Cut overall utility costs by 10 percent, or just more than $315,000, over 2011 through the negotiation of bulk purchasing agreements and the installation of new high-efficiency furnaces. Natural gas consumption was down by about 17 as a result of the new furnaces, Horan said.


One 2012 goal the authority did not meet: reducing crime.

The authority had hoped to reduce reported crime by 2 percent over 2011. The number of incidents instead increased by 3 percent -- 388 incidents, up from 375 in 2011, according to the report.

The 2012 numbers for the first time include incidents in the authority's four senior living developments, however. There were 21 reported incidents in those buildings in 2012.

Overall, reported incidents have gone down by nearly 68 percent since 1993, according to the report. And annual surveys show most residents feel safe in their homes, Horan said.

"We're never, unfortunately, going to get to zero," Horan said. "But at least we know from where we were in late '90s to where we are now, we know things are working and (we're) making our neighborhoods more stable and relatively crime free."

Among the authority's goals in 2013: reduce crime by 2 percent over 2012, maintain the 97 percent occupancy rate and continue energy conservation.

The authority will also continue to buy and clean up vacant land parcels near its developments, work to improve homeownership in neighborhoods surrounding the developments, and develop relationships with businesses that could result in jobs for public housing residents, Horan said.

The authority also plans to continue a project to make its website,, interactive. Once the makeover is complete, residents will be able to log into an account to view their rental bill, among other services, Horan said.

ERICA ERWIN can be reached at 870-1846 or by e-mail. Follow her at