58 Percent of Erie's Blighted Properties Still Occupied
City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember's administration is hoping to move forward with a $15 million plan to battle blight.
It calls for the demolition of hundreds of deteriorating homes. Some are in such bad shape that they need to be demolished, but the problem is many of them are still occupied.
The city wants to use $15 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan to revitalize and demolish blighted properties.
If approved by Erie City Council, landlords and homeowners can apply for loans and grants to help fix their rundown properties.
There are 427 unsound properties that need torn down, according to the city. However, 58 percent of those properties, or 247 of them, are occupied by families.
The city is now trying to figure out the best way to address the issue.
"What happens to those people? What do you do?," said Kathy Wyrosdick, planning and neighborhood resources department. "Those are good questions that we don't really have the answers for, but I think the overarching answer is they need better options. People shouldn't have to live in squalor - not in the City of Erie. They should not have to have that be their only option."
Mayor Schember is expected to present next year's budget to City Council on Wednesday, so we could have an update on the situation in just a couple days.