Resources for Property Owners

Lawrence ParkProperty owners are on the front line of historic preservation. Here are a few resources we’ve collected that you may find useful.

The National Park Service published a series of Preservation Briefs that offer “how-to” advice for preserving, rehabilitating and restoring historic buildings.

LERTA Tax Abatement Program: In October 2012, the City, School District and Erie County taxing bodies adopted ordinances to provide for an investment incentive for commercial/industrial and residential properties within Erie. This real estate tax abatement program applies to “improvements” that are completed. “Improvements” means repair, construction, reconstruction, alterations or additions that rehabilitate a deteriorated property, either commercial or residential so that it becomes habitable or attains higher standards of safety, health, economic use or amenity, or is brought into compliance by laws, ordinances or regulations governing such standards. Ordinary upkeep and maintenance is not deemed an improvement.

Residential Properties

Residential Rehabilitation Programs: The Erie Redevelopment Authority orchestrates the rehabilitation of owner occupied dwellings for low to moderate income owners in designated areas of the city.

Erie County Housing Resource Directory: This searchable database includes local, state and federal programs that provide a range of funding options for homeowners and renters looking for home-buyer assistance, rehabilitation and critical repair funding, and home energy upgrades.

There is also a City of Erie Housing Resource Directory.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Homeowners’ Resources: A short list of resources that can help you make good maintenance decisions for a historic home. How best to insure historic homes is addressed in a blog article.

Renaissance Block Grants, Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority: The Erie County Renaissance Block Program is a financial incentive-based program designed to address and reverse housing blight in Erie County. Properties in poor condition can reduce the market value of adjacent homes, in turn, discouraging other owners from making investments themselves thus starting or continuing a cycle of disinvestment. Several municipalities, such as Union City Borough and Girard Borough, and neighborhood associations within the City of Erie, like ServErie, Our West Bayfront, Academy Neighborhood Association, the Bayfront Eastside Task Force, Sisters of Saint Joseph’s Neighborhood Network, and the East Side Grassroots Coalition, have applied for and received Renaissance Block funding, which permits them to re-grant up to $5,000 to residential property owners for exterior, curbside home improvements. Contact the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority to learn more about where these funds are available.

Commercial Properties

Erie Downtown Partnership Facade Grant Program: These grants are intended to assist with the preservation of historic commercial buildings and assure that such buildings are rehabilitated in a sensitive and appropriate manner; bring substandard exterior building conditions into compliance with basic health, safety, and building codes and enhance the visual appeal of downtown businesses; and reduce or eliminate vacancies in the core of downtown Erie Downtown, and promote the adaptive reuse of commercial buildings. Any person(s) owning property in Erie Downtown Partnership’s boundaries is eligible to apply.

Mission Main Street Grants, Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority: Established to develop Erie County’s commercial corridors, Mission Main Street Grants serve to buttress those distinct geographic districts, known as “main streets,” that incubate and host small businesses, special events, historic structures, and central parks. Contact the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority to learn more about where these funds are being used.

Federal and State Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit: These programs provide tax credits to qualified taxpayers who will be completing the restoration of a qualified historic structure into an-income producing property.

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