Erie local tackles blight issue

The issue of blighted properties in the City of Erie is on the forefront of many redevelopment plans.

However, one local young man is tackling the issue with his small team.

Paul Hoffman, who just turned 20 Tuesday, graduated from Cathedral Prep last year and is now a freshman at Penn State.

But it was when he was 12 that he knew he wanted to make a difference in Erie, one home, one block at a time.

Hoffman started a landscaping business when he was just 12 years old. That's when he realed he wanted to make a difference.

Paul Hoffman, president of Hoffman United, says, "I noticed all the distressed properties, and I wanted to form a company that can tackle acquiring these blighted properties and manage them and take control of the situation."

He created Hoffman United two years ago.

The company offers three divisions - Hoffman development, construction and management.

He says 80 percent of the profit goes right back in to buying more properties.

Hoffman says, "When Erie residents hire Hoffman United for different services, for Hoffman construction, when you hire us for roofing, remodeling, additions, not only are you investing in your home, you're always investing back into the Erie community."

A unit on West 6th Street building will soon be two renovated apartments, marking the second property Hoffman United has flipped.

Hoffman says they hope to have that property in the 1000 block, done in a few months, and are always looking forward to the next big project.

Hoffman says, "I've been able to acquire and to have a team, a business that can do so much in Erie. Looking not only to continue in Erie, but also move to other vulnerable, distressed cities across the county."

Hoffman says they've already done a half a million dollars of work and will double that by the end of the year.

They have 41 properties under contract right now, which they also hope will help unite the west and east sides.


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