Gov. Wolf awards nearly $500,000 to fight blight, boost urban renewal in Erie

Local News

HARRISBURG  On Monday, Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of $5 million in Keystone Communities Program grant funding for 41 revitalization projects in 21 counties in Pennsylvania, including Erie and Warren.

“The Keystone Communities Program helps Pennsylvania’s towns and cities enhance their quality of life to the benefit of residents, visitors, and businesses alike,” said Gov. Wolf. “The program is flexible enough to serve the needs of any municipality—whether they’re aiming to improve their downtown, rehabilitate buildings, or create new housing or community gathering spaces.”

The list of approved projects are in Allegheny, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Cambria, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Lancaster, Luzerne, McKean, Mercer, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Warren, Wayne, and Westmoreland counties.

House Representatives Bob Merski and Pat Harkins of Erie said three grants awarded by the state Department of Community and Economic Development under the Keystone Communities Program are:

  • $229,251 to the City of Erie for the West Eighth Street Anchor Buildings Project.
  • $150,000 to the Erie Redevelopment Authority for the City of Erie Blight Reduction Project.
  • $103,000 to the PA Route 6 Alliance for the PA Route 6 Façade Program in the Great Lakes.

“The grant to the city for the West Eighth Street Anchor Buildings Project is extremely exciting because it will build on investments and projects already underway to renew and regrow Erie’s commercial corridor,” Merski said. “With the additional funding, the city can continue efforts to anchor revitalization of this key section of the city with new residential and commercial spaces that draw families, businesses and jobs.”

Harkins said the funding will allow the redevelopment authority to continue battling blight.

“The redevelopment authority has been working hard to acquire abandoned and distressed properties and demolish or renovate them,” Harkins said. “While those efforts are giving many areas a fresh look, there is still much work ahead, because blight still plagues many sections of our city, inviting crime and deterring investment.”

The Keystone Communities program encourages the creation of partnerships between public and private sectors to jointly support local initiatives that focus on the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities, social and economic diversity, and a strong and secure quality of life. The program allows communities to use these funds to target their specific revitalization efforts.

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to community development and revitalization, click HERE.

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