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Higgins, Brown, Holtz, Stachowski, Gabryszak, Thompson & Kennedy Announce Over $2.6 Million to Support Buffalo/Cheektowaga Border Efforts

Apr 14, 2009
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins, City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz were joined by Senator William Stachowski, Senator Antoine Thompson, Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak and Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy to announce a $2,635,019 state and federal grant which will be used to enhance and stabilize neighborhoods on the Buffalo/Cheektowaga border. 

 “Strong and stable neighborhoods are the foundation of every community,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.  “One vacant home has the potential to negatively impact an entire street.  This funding will go a long way toward improving struggling neighborhoods along the Buffalo/Cheektowaga border.”  

 “Working collaboratively with Cheektowaga Supervisor Holtz, Congressman Higgins and our other state and federal partners has proved a successful formula for acquiring these critically important funds,” said Mayor Brown. “This outcome reinforces my Administration’s commitment to work with our suburban neighbors to address issues that affect the quality of life of our residents and take the necessary action to remove blight, restore properties that can be rehabilitated and acquire land for future development purposes.”

 Supervisor Holtz added, “I believe the unyielding efforts of Congressman Higgins and the collaboration with Mayor Brown’s administration made this grant possible.  The benefit to our shared border community is the stabilization of neighborhoods and a better life for our residents.”

 The funding was a part of $59 million released by Governor Paterson statewide through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).  Federal dollars authorized by Congress through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and state funds through the “nyhomes” program provide support for the NSP. 

 Senator William Stachowski said, "This announcement clearly reflects our commitment to revitalizing this neighborhood, making our streets safer, and creating a community that knows no boundaries.   It also shows how Housing and Economic Recovery funds can be used to put people to work in a purposeful, meaningful way.  This is a terrific example of how this money should be spent, and I'm looking forward to seeing the results in the months to come."

 “The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is a vital tool in improving the quality of life for Erie County residents,” said Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak.  “Neighborhoods that are safe and clean are essential in creating strong communities. I applaud this program for helping make Erie County a better place to live and raise a family.”

 “This partnership between the City and Cheektowaga is an example of intermunicipal cooperation at its best,” Legislator Kennedy said.  “The work done through this effort will result in direct improvements on these border neighborhoods and further strengthen the larger Erie County community.” 

 Twenty-nine applicants statewide were awarded funding following a competitive RFP process.  Projects were awarded based for the following purposes:  acquisition and rehabilitation; homebuyer assistance; land banking; demolition of blighted properties; and redevelopment of vacant properties. 

 Last year the City and Town formed the Buffalo/Cheektowaga Revitalization task force which meets regularly to find solutions to mutual problems including:  crime, vacant housing, absentee landlords, economic decline and population loss.