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BY: Jennifer Lysiak, Lancaster Editor | March 19, 2014

LANCASTER- Lancaster Village Code Enforcement Officer Ryan McNichol said he tries to give everyone a fair chance when it comes to taking care of code violations in the village and he’s just doing his job, a modest answer to what he did for one village homeowner who just needed a little help.

For many years, the occupied home, located at 5268 Broadway, was in need of a roof. A house that can’t be missed when driving down Broadway, said McNichol.

“The roof was in shambles,” explained McNichol. “Driving pass it, there were holes in the roof. You could see right into the attic.”

Although McNichol, who has been the village’s code enforcement officer for a little more than a year, did not know why it wasn’t addressed before, the condition of the roof has deteriorated more and more the past few years.

The homeowner was taken to village court a couple of times for the violation, but nothing was fixed. It was finally learned the homeowner couldn’t afford to put a new roof on, so McNichol decided to do something about it.

McNichol hooked him up with the Erie County Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program. A program that assists eligible owner-occupied one- to two-family households to help with essential repairs, such as roofing, energy conservation, siding repair and/or replacement, and upgrading of mechanical systems.

The program is funded through the Erie County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership Program. Its goal is to eliminate substandard living conditions and prolong the useful life of the housing stock occupied by low- and moderate-income households. Assistance is provided in the form of repayable loans of up to $15,000 that are issued at a zero percent fixed interest rate.

Working together with the county, McNichol assisted the homeowner in getting an approved loan through the program based on his taxes and income.

“It took me literally eight months to get that house’s roof up through corresponding with the homeowner and Erie County,” said McNichol. “But Erie County pulled through and he got his rehabilitation loan”.

“We also got him on the emergency repair list and now his roof is being fixed,” added McNichol, noting there is a waiting list. “There was a lot of legwork behind it.”

For the last two weeks, Besroi Roofing and Siding workers have been working on the roof and the work was completed this week.

“They are doing a phenomenal job,” said McNichol. “They’re going above and beyond. It’s getting done and it looks great. They’re replacing the fascia, metal work, and soffit work. That roof probably has about another 30 years before it will need to be replaced.”

McNichol said this was the first the time the village used the rehabilitation program through Erie County and is also the first time Lancaster, Erie County, and a homeowner, that he’s aware of, worked together to resolve what “was” a problem for one homeowner.

“I'm proud of what our code enforcement officer Ryan McNichol has accomplished for those residing in what was a barely habitable dwelling,” remarked Lancaster Village Attorney Arthur Herdzik.

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2014-03-27 | 22:53:14
Rehab programs
The Village has used their own and Erie County rehab programs for years. Many programs and joint housing efforts have occurred in the Village for years. Mr McNichol is probably too young to remember