my information

--- Issued September 9, 2013

On Thursday, September 5., Housing Authority Executive Director John E. Horan was among local housing officials warning about the effects of federal budget cuts on affordable housing for those who need it most.

To read his comments in their entirety, click HERE.

Horan spoke at a public forum on housing with U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-3rd District. 

Horan's message was that funding for housing has already been cut "to the bone" and that the need for affordable housing is too great to keep on cutting the budget.

He said that if the federal government continues to reduce funding for affordable housing, "it is inevitable that the programs will not be sustainable."

Automatic federal budget reductions for the 2013-14 fiscal year resulted in nearly $600,000 in budget cuts at the authority, which adversely affected the Authority’s Section 8 rental assistance program.

Other speakers included Kim Green, the Erie Redevelopment Authority's executive director and Patrick Herr, associate director of Community Shelter Services.

Green said  local agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to carry out affordable housing plans with diminishing funding.  The Redevelopment Authority received $1.6 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds as recently as 2005 but in 2013 it "barely received $500,000 ... almost a 69 percent funding decrease."

Herr said federal funds used for the programs that his agency and others provide go to "hardworking people who play by the rules."  Community Shelter Services provides housing assistance to the homeless and other needy residents in the Erie area.

Herr said that contrary to stereotypes, participants in such programs want to become self-sufficient.

Kelly admitted that federal funding is tight, and he did not promise to change that. But he urged those in the room to keep up their efforts.