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--- Issued December 16, 2013

The Housing Authority of the City of Erie today distributed Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) checks totaling $332,304.09 to the three taxing bodies (City, County, and School District), totaling $31,000 more than in 2012. This is the largest PILOT payment in the 75-year history of the Housing Authority.

The Authority is able to do this because of the increase in rental income collected and the reduction in utility costs during the 12 months ending September 30, 2013. These are the two main factors that determine the amount of the PILOT -- high occupancy and the reduction in utility costs resulted in a windfall benefit for the taxing bodies.

“The Housing Authority is, by state law, exempt from real estate taxes, however, we make these payments to the taxing bodies for the services they provide to public housing residents, said John Horan, executive director of the Authority.  "Providing financial support to our local governing bodies is the right thing to do even though we are tax exempt. We are limited by federal law as to the amount of the PILOT payments. However, we always pay the maximum amount permitted.”

The Authority presented a check in the amount of $116,046.73 to Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott. This amount represents the city’s share of the Authority’s 2013 Payment in Lieu of Taxes.

In 2013, the Authority also paid the City $462,921.15 to support various services and functions such as the C.O.P.P.S. supplementary police patrols in public housing.

Jay Badams, Superintendent of Erie’s Public Schools, received a $169,294.72 PILOT check, which represents the Erie’s Public Schools share of the Housing Authority’s 2013 Payment in Lieu of Taxes. The Authority expended another $837,929 in 2013 for education-related services for children and adults, including two adult learning centers, and three after-school and summer recreation centers.

"Erie’s Public Schools educate most of the children who live in public housing,” Horan said. “We are pleased to make these contributions to support and reinforce the school district’s efforts to provide quality education for all the citizens of Erie.”

County Executive Barry Grossman received a PILOT check for $46,962.64. This is in addition to the $117,361 paid by the Authority in 2013 for Erie County services in public housing neighborhoods, including Adult and Juvenile Probation, and two Erie County Youth Libraries.

Each year, since 1941, the Authority has provided voluntary PILOT payments to the City of Erie, Erie County, and the Erie School District. Counting this year’s contribution of $332,304.09 the Authority has paid a total of $7,617,687.09 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 7,500 Erie citizens through its various housing programs.

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