Constituent Services
Congressman Higgins & Black Rock Riverside Neighborhood Housing Services Announce Housing Initiatives
April 25, 2008
$130,000 in Federal Funding Supports Ownership, Rehab & Foreclosure Prevention Efforts
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27), Black Rock Riverside Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) Executive Director Linda Chiarenza and First Niagara WNY Regional President Daniel Cantara are pleased to announce efforts underway to promote home ownership, rehabilitation and foreclosure prevention in the Black Rock Riverside community with the support of $130,000 in federal aid. 
“The City of Buffalo’s beautiful older homes add to the character of our community but can sometimes become costly and difficult to maintain for struggling families,” said Congressman Brian Higgins, Co-Chair of the Congressional Older Cities Task Force.  “Through the great work of Black Rock Riverside NHS, homeowners are able to receive counseling, assistance and guidance on how to initiate and maintain homeownership.  With that support from Black Rock Riverside NHS and similar organizations throughout this region, block by block we are building stronger neighborhoods.”
A $75,000 Federal Home Loan Bank grant available through the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation, the Black Rock Riverside (NHS) and their sponsoring institution, First Niagara Bank, will assist very low and low-income families to make necessary repairs to their homes which negatively affect their health, safety and general welfare.  This program will offer ten homeowners the opportunity to bring their homes up to federal Housing Quality Standards and make other repairs that will improve the quality of housing stock that is old and in need of repair. Homeowners will be required to work closely with the sponsor’s Rehab Specialist during the processes of reviewing the condition of the home, developing the scope of work to be completed, and the completion of repairs.  The participants will be selected by a lottery, pulled by Reverend Fred Jensen, from a large group of interested parties qualified for the program.    
The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, a congressional chartered system created during the Great Depression in 1932, is one of several branches of the Federal Home Loan Bank system that lends low-cost funds to financial institutions for home mortgage, small business, and rural and agricultural loans.  Since 1990, through the Affordable Housing Program initiative, the FHLB has set aside 10% of its private earnings to support the creation and preservation of housing for lower income families and individuals. 
In addition to Federal Home Loan Bank funds, Black Rock Riverside NHS received $45,000 through their collaboration with West Side NHS, a chartered NeighborWorks ® America organization, to support their ongoing housing efforts in the Black Rock Riverside community and an additional $10,138 through the NeighborWorks National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program. 
In FY 2008, NeighborWorks America (also known as the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation) will provide more than $76 million in grants to its national network of more than 230 community-based nonprofit organizations to create homeownership for lower-income families, produce and manage affordable, high-quality rental properties, stem the tide of foreclosures that threaten neighborhoods and local economies, and revitalize and strengthen communities.  

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