Harkins, Merski: Nearly $700,000 awarded to increase availability of safe, affordable housing

ERIE, June 14 – Grant awards totaling nearly $700,000 have been awarded to entities with a focus on ensuring residents in Erie County have access to safe, affordable housing, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

These grants were awarded through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund. PHARE was established by Act 105 of 2010 to provide the mechanism by which certain allocated state or federal funds, as well as funds from other outside sources, would be used to assist with the creation, rehabilitation and support of affordable housing throughout the commonwealth. 

The local awards and recipients are as follows:

  • $135,000 - GMA Development Group, LLC.
  • $100,000 - City of Erie.
  • $100,000 - Community of Caring.
  • $100,000 - Erie DAWN.
  • $100,000 - Mercy Center for Women.
  • $75,000 - Erie County Department of Human Services.
  • $50,000 - St. Martin Center, Inc.

“Safe, affordable housing is more than just a basic human need; it is a critical foundation for the well-being of our families and the stability of our communities,” Harkins said. “These grants will foster environments where children can thrive in their educational pursuits, where health outcomes can improve due to reduced stress and better living conditions, and where the cycle of poverty can be broken as families are able to allocate resources more effectively.”

Merski said, “When we ensure that every citizen has access to housing that is both safe and affordable, we are investing in the future of our nation. Housing is the bedrock upon which we build our lives, the secure platform that allows individuals to pursue education, maintain employment, and contribute meaningfully to society.”