Merski, Harkins: Nearly $1 million awarded to expand housing assistance

ERIE, June 10 – Erie County organizations are receiving $970,000 in funding to expand housing-related services for families in need, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund will address a range of different needs that open doors for residents.

“This funding will strengthen programs across the board for residents facing housing challenges,” Merski said. “Some of those dollars will support our most vulnerable residents, including folks in crisis, by strengthening resources for area shelters, while other funding will support home repair programs and programs to help families working toward first-time homeownership. All of the funding comes at an important time, when folks are still building back from the impacts of the pandemic.”

Harkins said, “The stability that comes with having a home gives parents and caregivers the peace of mind to know their kids are safe, gives families the support of a caring community and provides people with the freedom and confidence to find work. Securing this funding today is going to help get those keys to self-sufficiency into the hands of more Erie residents in need.”

The funding includes:

  • $200,000 to Greater Erie Community Action Committee for the Corridor of Opportunity program.
  • $200,000 to Our West Bayfront for the Building Bayfront Homeowners Program.
  • $200,000 to Mercy Center for Women for facility apartment renovations and services.
  • $120,000 to the Erie County Department of Human Services for homeless prevention/shelter care.
  • $100,000 to the City of Erie for the Homeowner Repair Mini-Grants program.
  • $75,000 to Community of Caring for the Building a Better Life program.
  • $75,000 to Erie DAWN for the My First Front Door program.

The PHARE fund – also known as the state’s Housing Trust Fund – is supported by impact fees collected from natural gas companies and from a portion of the realty transfer tax.

The awards are part of a package for projects statewide. More information on the funding is available here: