Harkins, Merski: Over $750K awarded for Erie housing projects

ERIE, June 27 –Expanding on their shared priority of bolstering funds for housing stability, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today they helped secure over $750,000 in funding geared to boost sustainable housing options and reduce the risk of homelessness for Erie residents.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding, awarded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, will be earmarked for programs and initiatives aimed at helping residents remain in their homes.

“Reliable, affordable housing is the centerpiece of pursuing a better quality of life,” Harkins said. “However, too many Erie residents face the real danger of losing access to this life necessity, and this new funding will allow expanded options to be presented to residents in need.”

Merski said, “The issue of housing sustainability has far-reaching implications and requires a strategic, pragmatic approach with the underlying goal of ensuring residents have the ability to remain in their homes. Seeing this initiative continue to receive the funding it deserves is a step in the right direction in the fight to end homelessness and provide residents with the amenities they need to lead successful lives.”

Harkins and Merski said the funding – which comes from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund – includes: 

  • $400,000 to the Erie County Land Bank.
  • $200,000 to the Erie City Housing Authority.
  • $160,000 to the Housing and Neighbrhood Development Service.

Money for the grants comes from realty transfer taxes. Other funding for PHARE grants comes from Marcellus Shale impact fees. This influx in funding brings the total amount awarded to Erie County from PHARE to nearly $1.25 million for the month of June.

Earlier this month, Erie organizations received an additional $482,500 in PHARE funding.