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ECGRA Awards $396,250 in 2020 Renaissance Block Grants

Posted on November 19th, 2020 at 10:25 AM
ECGRA Awards $396,250 in 2020 Renaissance Block Grants

The Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA) awarded nearly $400,000 in the 2020 round of funding for the Erie County Renaissance Block Program, an anti-blight, neighborhood cooperation initiative designed to help improve Erie County neighborhoods through a block-by-block strategy that targets aging or neglected areas where neighbors are organized and willing to work together to combat blight.

"Once blight settles in, a neighborhood is at high risk of reduced property values, vacancies, and increased crime -  in the City of Erie alone, there are 9,500 homes identified by Erie Refocused as moderately or severely distressed," said ECGRA Executive Director Perry Wood.  "ECGRA's Renaissance Block Program awards grants to help revitalize our neighborhoods."

Rick and Linda Brown are residents in a neighborhood that received a portion of the grant to help improve their home.  The couple recently installed 21 energy-efficient windows that totaled $16,000, but with the $5,000 matching grant, they ended up spending $11,000 out of pocket.  "This is a real thing," said Linda.  "I just hope anyone who wants to take advantage of these grants makes the decision to do so.  I'd like to see as many people as possible benefit from this."

The grant, which can be used for exterior home improvements, is a one-to-one match up to $5,000 of a participant's project.