Erie City Moms accepted a new challenge to assist mothers aspiring to achieve homeownership.

“Fifty percent of our children are living in poverty, and that means 50% of our mothers are living in poverty. We need to help care for a mother so that we can help care for our kids,” said Amanda Burlingham, founder and executive director of Erie City Moms.

Erie City Mom’s mission is to support, uplift, and champion mother figures from all walks of life.

Since 2016 they have found that moms in our area are struggling to access stable housing.

Recently, the organization purchased a property on East 10th Street with the intent to turn it into a homeowner pipeline program.

The 2600-square-foot house was built in 1899 and is being completely renovated into two family-size apartments. One will be a three bedroom and the other will be a four bedroom.

“We’ve got support from Erie First Assembly. Rainbow International came in and cleaned this house out for us, which was an incredible donation to us. Erie Bank has been here and has done a ton of volunteer work for us already, so it has been a great community effort,” said Burlingham.

The new program is aimed to help a mom find long-term housing security.

“Our goal is to help them improve their credit, build their savings account and learn what it takes to be a homeowner by allowing them to come live in this house at low rent, build their savings account and then be mentored in homeownership while they’re here,” added Burlingham.

Despite the large amount of reconstruction that’s needed inside the property, Erie City Moms plans to have the work done by spring 2024.

“When we’re building a house, back up here, it really reminds me of the importance of building back up a mother,” said Burlingham.

Burlingham said one of the great things about the home is its location in a thriving neighborhood — across from the Neighborhood Art House and only a block away from UPMC Park.