Aug 06, 2015 | Posted in Blog

On May 21, 2015 The Erie Times News published a piece simply titled “99,452" referring to the latest population count in the City of Erie. The article explained the continued decline in the population of the City of Erie and Erie County as well.

Understandably, the article has generated plenty of dialogue. Everyone agrees that this is a problem, few are surprised by it and no one likes the reality of it.

Why are people moving out of the Erie area?

Perhaps the move is just a factor of going to a new school or being transferred for work. But my sense is that many people are moving out for what they believe is something better; they are looking for that “greener grass.”

Why should you care?

When a city or county shrink in population, like is happening in Erie, the remaining residents have higher taxes to compensate for those that left. Also, because the amount and type of federal and/or state resources that come to a region are mostly based on the region’s population size, it means that there is less money for things like road repairs, crime reduction, community health, Presque Isle Park or other large projects. In other words, Erie’s population decline harms YOU and me, all of us who stayed behind. We should all be concerned and want to do something about it.

One of the ways that we can solve this problem is to have less restrictions on potential home buyers. Let’s make it easier for people to buy and keep homes. It is well known that owning a home is a sign of both financial and community stability. More often than not, people who own homes care about their neighborhoods and neighbors.

There are plenty of homes for sale in the City of Erie. We need to make it easier to get people in those homes. Homeowners pay taxes. More tax payers is better for all of us.

Did you know that St. Martin Center, Inc. has a Housing Counseling Program that specializes in homeownership and preventing foreclosure?

Our staff are uniquely qualified to provide group or individualized assistance. They help individuals plan, budget and manage their finances. They also help individuals work with their financial institutions to create a savings account and prioritize mortgage payments.

You can help by supporting our Housing Counseling Program. As federal, state and local funding sources decline, it becomes more difficult to provide this valuable service to the people of Erie.

Your support to our Housing Program can be used in any of the following ways:
• Credit repair
• Mortgage assistance
• Down payment/closing costs assistance
• Staffing costs

With your support, we can simplify the home buying process. Your support would also help those who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosures. Give today through our website and/or mail with a designation towards our Housing Program.