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New families come 'HOME' to Lackawanna

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Mon, Feb 26th 2018 12:35 pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (at podium) is  joined by Lackawanna Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski and Congressman Brian Higgins (both at left) along with members of the Lackawanna Housing Development Corp. and the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning at a new home at 18 Glenwood Ave., Lackawanna. The site one of three new residences recently completed in the city's First and Second Wards. The three homes 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, and are located on lots that had been vacant after deteriorated buildings were demolished.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (at podium) is joined by Lackawanna Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski and Congressman Brian Higgins (both at left) along with members of the Lackawanna Housing Development Corp. and the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning at a new home at 18 Glenwood Ave., Lackawanna. The site one of three new residences recently completed in the city's First and Second Wards. The three homes 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, and are located on lots that had been vacant after deteriorated buildings were demolished.
Poloncarz, Higgins, Szymanski note ongoing revitalization of city; 3 new homes built through federal grant administered by Erie County Home Investment Partnership
On Monday, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Congressman Brian Higgins, City of Lackawanna Mayor Geoff Szymanski, Executive Director of the Lackawanna Housing Development Corp. ("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 Ave., 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," Poloncarz said. "From demolition to new construction, these parcels have been transformed into homesteads to be proud of. 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. The Piccolo family moved into the premises at the beginning of January. The other two three-bedroom homes are located at 36 and 77 Center St., in the City of Lackawanna. 36 Center welcomed a new family Feb. 1 while 77 Center will be rented 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," Higgins said. "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."
LHDC managed the construction of the three new homes and will rent them to income eligible families for a minimum of 20 years.
Constructed at a cost of $146,228, the home at 18 Glenwood 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," Szymanski said. "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 New York state tax credits, the HOME 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/.

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