Buffalo, NY—Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced $685,000 in federal funding for the Buffalo Home Ownership Effort, administered by the West Side Neighborhood Housing Services (NeighborWorks ® America charter member). Higgins was joined by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, State Senator Marc Coppola, State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, Niagara District Councilmember Dominic Bonafacio, West Side Neighborhood Housing Services Board Chairman Robin Johnson, and West Side Collaborative members.
The Buffalo Home Ownership Effort will receive $685,000 to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to 40 households, and minor repairs to 90 households ($200,000 for down payment/closing cost assistance, and $485,000 for minor repairs). The Buffalo Housing Steering Committee will work with the West Side Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) to implement the funding for home repair.
The goal of the project is to stabilize the neighborhood and increase the rate of homeownership for low-income families by making it easier and more affordable for them to own homes. West Side NHS will provide homebuyer education, pre-purchase counseling, assistance with financing and the financing process, and oversee procedures at time of purchase.
“The West Side of Buffalo has done an incredible job advocating for our community, and as a result, housing and resale values are increasing and the neighborhood is growing, encouraging new small businesses and development,” said Congressman Higgins. “This funding will help those who would not otherwise be able to buy a new house or repair a roof to do so, and it only adds to the great growth we are seeing in Western New York.”
“We know that homeownership increases the quality of life in Buffalo’s neighborhoods,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “We continue to see tremendous progress on West Side projects, including both housing rehabilitations and new homes being built. By making more renters homeowners, we can continue our effort to revitalize and stabilize our city’s neighborhoods. These Federal Home Loan Bank funds are a welcome addition to our Administration’s ongoing homeownership activities occurring throughout Buffalo.”
“It has been proven time and time again that when there is increased home ownership within a neighborhood, the quality of life for all is improved,” said State Senator Marc Coppola. “I want to thank Congressman Higgins for recognizing that and for securing these funds through the Federal Budget.”
“I’d like to thank Congressman Higgins for his efforts to secure these funds,” said Assemblyman Sam Hoyt. “It is well known that neighborhoods with high homeownership rates are stable, healthy neighborhoods with lower crime rates. These funds will generate an increase in new homeowners which will significantly contribute to neighborhood stabilization while enabling many families to achieve a key component of the American Dream.”
“The West Side of Buffalo and its residents face many housing related challenges,” said City Councilmember Dominic Bonafacio. “This substantial allocation of funding will play a pivotal role in our efforts to further stabilize our neighborhoods through home ownership. I applaud Congressman Higgins, the WNY delegation, and West Side Neighborhood Housing Services’ in securing these much needed funds.”
“I am so pleased to be able to share these grants with the entire City,” said West Side NHS Executive Director Linda Chiarenza. “Our agency is fortunate to be a charter member of NeighborWorks ® America. Congressman Higgins is a major supporter of NeighborWorks ® America in Congress enabling us to bring much needed housing money to Buffalo, and for that we thank him. With the generous grants we receive from them along with the Federal Home Loan Bank, we are rebuilding the beautiful housing stock here and helping to create new homeowners, making Buffalo a city of choice.”
West Side Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. is the project sponsor of the Buffalo Home Ownership Effort program. West Side NHS was established in 1980 and is a private non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of Buffalo's West Side Neighborhoods, and it provides safe and affordable housing for low to moderate income families. HSBC was also involved and applied for the loan with the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York on behalf of West Side NHS.
This funding comes from the Affordable Housing Program (AHP), a subsidy program designed to finance housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Funds are available through the Federal Home Loan Bank System that is comprised of the Federal Home Loan Banks and their member stockholders (members such as M&T and HSBC). Non-profits, local governments, community development corporations, and other sponsors seeking funding for affordable housing submit applications through financial institution members of a Federal Home Loan Bank.