What We Do
Our West Bayfront coordinates a variety projects and programs to enhance the quality of life in the West Bayfront neighborhoods and advance the goals of the Our West Bayfront Community Plan [link to OWB plan page], a resident-led community planning effort that puts the voices of our community first.
We are working to create safe, affordable and healthy homes for our residents through a variety of housing programs and by connecting residents to resources available throughout the region. [link to housing page]. We facilitate community planning efforts to enhance public spaces including community parks, streets, and vacant lots, and create public artworks that celebrate the history and future of the community. [link to parks and public spaces]. Our free events and activities bring residents together and create new opportunities for fun in the neighborhoods. We are working to enhance the commercial corridor along West 8th Street to grow and attract neighborhood-oriented small businesses that meet the needs of residents.
Connecting you to Housing Resources
A core focus of OWB’s work is to stabilize the West Bayfront neighborhoods by creating healthier, safer, and more affordable housing. Several of our ongoing initiatives are described below. If you are interested in learning more about the home repair resources currently available to property owners in the West Bayfront, please complete the OWB Preliminary Application Form or contact our office by calling (814)-871-7050.
Contact us and we will do our best to direct you towards those that can serve you and your home best!
Renaissance Block Projects
Since 2017, OWB has participated in the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority Renaissance Block Program, assisting dozens of property owners with repairs and enhancements to their residential properties. Through this program, OWB provides matching grants to property owners on blocks that are in selected based on the priorities of the OWB Community Plan, and where there is an interest among neighbors in a revitalization partnership. To date, OWB Renaissance Block Projects have focused on Liberty Street and the blocks adjacent to Gridley Park. Over 20 properties have been assisted to date through this unique initiative.
Group Work Camp
Every year, OWB partners with the national Group Work Camp program, which brings hundreds of high-school aged students into the Erie area to participate in a community service project focused on home repairs. This program provides minor repair needs including interior/exterior painting and porch/deck repair.
Other resources available in the region to assist residents with property needs
- Redevelopment Authority of the City of Erie (RACE) offers a variety of programs that can assist property owners with a range of repairs, including the Lead Hazard Control Program and the Healthy Homes Program.
- Erie County Housing Authority (ECHA) manages the Weatherization Assistance Program , which offers assistance and energy education to low income owners or renters who are occupants of housing units that are in need of improvements to reduce energy usage.
- St. Martin Center provides a variety of programs including Emergency Assistance, and Housing and Financial Counseling.
- City of Erie Department of Economic and Community Development occasionally provides grants for home repair and/or down payment assistance. The City also offers the LERTA program, which provides a tax abatement for certain types of renovations and improvements to residential property.
- Erie’s Black Wall Street offers a Pathway to Home ownership program which includes education that addresses the basics of what it takes to purchase a home.
- Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency provides a variety of programs for homeowners, home buyers, and renters.
Our West Bayfront also acquires and renovates properties either for rental or for sale. Our rental units are managed by Housing and Neighborhood Service, Inc. (HANDS). Please visit their website for information about any available properties in the community.
Our West Bayfront collaborates with neighbors, local businesses, and other nonprofit organizations to pursue several initiatives that are aimed at building and maintaining beautiful, useful, and safe community spaces that improve the lives of neighbors and friends.
Lift Liberty Street
Our West Bayfront is working with residents on improvements to Liberty Street from the bluffs to West 12th Street! Liberty Street is the central north-south corridor through the West Bayfront community, linking West…
Block Party Applications
Have you ever wanted to host a Block Party for your neighbors? Our West Bayfront is opening the opportunity for West Bayfront residents to apply for a small grant of $250 to help…
Re-Store West 8th Street Commercial Corridor
Shops, restaurants, markets, and neighborhood services – these are the types of businesses OWB would like to draw to West 8th Street, the West Bayfront’s primary commercial district. Re-STORE West 8th Street is an initiative to enhance the West 8th Street corridor from Liberty Street to Myrtle Street to support existing local businesses and encourage others to open in the community.