An Erie company is helping out the city in the battle against blight by restoring vacant homes.

GMA Development Group, LLC hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday to celebrate the completion of renovations on a home at 261 E. 33rd St.

According to GMA developer Donald Crenshaw, back in April, the house was in such bad shape that it was a candidate for demolition.

After receiving a $30,000 loan from the Greater Erie Economic Development Corporation, GMA purchased the home and conducted a complete renovation of the property.

It's now for sale and first-time homebuyers with low to moderate income can receive up to $25,000 in assistance from the City of Erie’s HOME funds.

“To be able to fix them up and make homeownership for individuals who otherwise wouldn't have homeownership is great,” said Crenshaw. “The main thing is putting a roof over somebody's head that otherwise wouldn't have it. It’s very important."

The money can be used to cover the down payment and closing costs.

“A program like this one, you're going to get a property that a low to moderate income buyer can afford to purchase,” said realtor Sonja Thompson. “They are not going to have to be worried about the challenges of the condition the property, not meeting financial requirements. You get a brand new home.”

The house is selling for $150,000.

Crenshaw says GMA plans to do this with 30 other properties

This story is supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.