ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), City of Lackawanna Mayor Geoff Szymanski, Executive Director of the Lackawanna Housing Development Corporation (“LHDC”) Phil Lowrey along with LHDC Board president Dean Otoka and members of the Board, members of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, and members of the Piccolo family at their home at 18 Glenwood Avenue in Lackawanna to celebrate the opening of three new single-family homes in the City. The three homes are scattered throughout Lackawanna’s First and Second Ward neighborhoods and were completed with federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development administered through the Erie County Home Investment Partnership (“HOME”) program.
“Neighborhoods are coming back to life in Lackawanna and these new homes are evidence of the partnerships that are making it happen. From demolition to new construction, these parcels have been transformed into homesteads to be proud of,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Investments such as these in our communities level the playing field for residents, improve neighborhoods, and make the American dream of home ownership more accessible to all. I thank Congressman Higgins, Mayor Szymanski and our partners at all levels of government for working together to create new affordable housing in Erie County.”
The 970-square foot home at 18 Glenwood is the first single-family home completed and the Piccolo family moved into the premises at the beginning of January 2018. The other two 3-bedroom homes are located at 36 and 77 Center Street in the City of Lackawanna; 36 Center welcomed a new family on February 1 and 77 Center will be rented on April 1. All three parcels occupied by the new builds were vacant land where deteriorated homes had been demolished by the City.
“These Lackawanna home rehab projects, made possible through a collaborative effort between the City and Erie County, illustrate the important role federal community development funding plays in strengthening neighborhoods,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “Under the proposed White House budget for FY19, HOME funding and Community Development Block Grants are completely eliminated, ripping resources producing real community renewal results from the neighborhoods that understand their needs best. We will fight to keep these programs in place so that cities like Lackawanna and other communities across Erie County and Western New York have resources to build a stronger future.”
The Lackawanna Housing Development Corporation (“LHDC”) managed the construction of the three new homes and will rent them to income eligible families for a minimum of twenty years. Constructed at a cost of $146,228 the home at 18 Glenwood Avenue is fully handicapped accessible, including the bathroom, and is being rented to a household with a demonstrated need for the home.
“All around Lackawanna you’ll see pockets of new life and areas where families are returning,” added Mayor Szymanski. “Just as the Bethlehem site is returning to business, our community is growing and projects such as these add to the success.”
Following the City-led demolition of previously-existing deteriorated housing on each site, all three parcels were purchased by the LHDC from the City of Lackawanna for $1,000. In 2015 the Lackawanna Homes project was completed in the City’s First Ward, consisting of the construction of 47 new single family homes on scattered vacant lots throughout the ward.
Funded primarily through NYS tax credits, the Homes project also received support from Erie County HOME funds. LHDC is currently the property manager for those 47 homes, all of which are rented to low-income households. Many of these homes are located near the three new homes in a continuation of the successful Lackawanna Homes project from 2015.
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, visit http://www2.erie.gov/environment/