Working with Local Partners, Homes & Community Renewal and Environmental Facilities Corporation Support Mass Ave Community Homes Project to Help Revitalize Buffalo’s West Side
BUFFALO, NY – New York State today announced the groundbreaking on a $12.4 million affordable housing development project, the Massachusetts Avenue Community Homes, on Buffalo’s West Side.
The Mass Ave Community Homes (MACH) project is managed by PUSH Buffalo’s Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company (BNSC) in partnership with Housing Visions, Inc. The project will create 46 new energy-efficient apartments for neighborhood residents by renovating seven vacant historic buildings while also building nine completely new structures on project sites along the Massachusetts Avenue corridor. Upon completion, the project will house moderate- and low-income families in buildings that will all meet green and-energy efficiency standards. The development will include an on-site management office, community space, computer lab and a laundry facility. This project will create an estimated 39 direct and indirect jobs related to construction and 2 permanent jobs related to property management and maintenance.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo, with his own deep history in affordable housing development, has helped state agencies to recognize that community-based development models work best,” said Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. (HCR) “We are happy to work with development partners like PUSH Buffalo and Housing Visions, who know the needs of Buffalo’s West Side and have a track record of accomplishment in serving this community.”
HCR’s investment in MACH includes: a Housing Trust Fund award of $2,332,189; Annual Low Income Housing Tax Credit of $849,052; Annual State Low Income Housing Credit of $333,511; and a $200,000 Urban Initiative grant. The project, which will use state-of-the-art green-building technology, was also awarded a New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation grant of $644,000.
“Buffalo’s West Side will greatly benefit from a variety of green infrastructure practices that will be installed in the twenty-five block Green Development Zone and funded through New York State’s award-winning Green Innovation Grant Program,” said Matthew J. Driscoll, President and CEO of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC). “The Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Corporation will use our grant to install bioretention, permeable pavement, green roofs and rain gardens. By capturing rainwater and using it as a resource at or near where it falls, these projects will beautify the neighborhood and improve water quality by keeping stormwater out of sewers.”
“PUSH Buffalo is leading a community driven success story on Buffalo’s West Side through a targeted approach to urban infrastructure investments,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “We know that progress happens when Buffalo stands up for itself. With the help of PUSH’s grassroots initiative on this project and so many more, their smart, environmentally friendly approach to community renewal is creating jobs, rehabilitating housing and contributing to great momentum in the City of Buffalo.”
“The City of Buffalo is pleased to continue its partnership with PUSH Buffalo by contributing funds that flow through the city for projects that provide safe and affordable housing options for members of our community,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “Our investment of federal funds in the amount of $1.2 million into the Mass Ave Community Homes Project continues the great momentum on the West Side of Buffalo and throughout our city.”
Aaron Bartley, Executive Director, PUSH Buffalo said: “With the MACH project, nearly all vacancy will be eliminated within our 25-block Green Development Zone. Construction hasn’t been seen at this scale on the city’s West Side in decades. This project is critical for our community.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “PUSH Buffalo has been doing extraordinary work in our community, and in recent years their work has turned into remarkable progress on Buffalo’s West Side. This $11 million investment from New York State, the City of Buffalo, and Key Bank is a win-win for our community, helping to reduce blight, and build affordable housing that is environmentally friendly and energy efficient. I am so excited to see the continued transformation of Buffalo’s Massachusetts Avenue Corridor. Thanks to the hard work of PUSH Buffalo, and historic investments from New York State, neighborhood revitalization is real, and every day new families are finding great places to live on Buffalo’s West Side”.
Senator Tim Kennedy said, “Every Western New York family deserves access to safe, reliable and affordable housing, and this state investment will move us even closer to achieving this vision on Buffalo’s West Side. Take a look at the numbers here: nine new builds, seven renovations of vacant property, 46 affordable housing units, millions of dollars in investment from the state, city and private business – that’s a formula that adds up to our resurgent West Side neighborhood growing even stronger. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for joining us to work with PUSH Buffalo to rebuild our community.”
Buffalo Common Councilmember David Rivera said: “This project fills a need for housing for residents living on Buffalo’s West Side. We appreciate the support of Governor Cuomo on this project that is providing construction jobs, renovating vacant buildings and creating new environmentally-friendly apartments for our deserving citizens.”
In addition to the state investment, BNSC will also utilize City of Buffalo HOME funds and private bank equity. PUSH Buffalo and its General Contractor have developed an innovative Community Benefits Agreement that sets goals for local and targeted hiring and utilization of neighborhood-based subcontractors. Already, three laborers from the local community have been hired for the duration of the project.
About NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)
The Massachusetts Avenue Community Homes are part of New York State’s significant investment in affordable housing. Under the leadership of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the state is in the second year of the $1 billion House New York program, which creates thousands of new units over five years, and is the largest investment in affordable housing in at least 15 years. House New York will also preserve thousands of Mitchell-Lama units, extending affordability for 40 years. The House New York initiative builds on the successes of the Governor’s unprecedented efforts to protect rent-regulated tenants, with the greatest strengthening of the state’s rent laws in 30 years, and the creation of the Tenant Protection Unit which proactively audits and investigates landlord wrongdoing. For more information, visit www.nyshcr.org
About PUSH Buffalo
People United for Sustainable Housing, Inc. (PUSH Buffalo) is a grassroots non-profit organization founded in 2005. The mission of PUSH Buffalo is to mobilize community residents to create strong neighborhoods with quality affordable housing, expand local hiring opportunities and advance economic justice in Buffalo. For more information, visit pushbuffalo.org.
About Housing Visions
Housing Visions purchases, develops, and consults on projects; substantially rehabilitates or newly constructs homes; and performs property management services. Specializing in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, we have successfully rehabilitated a number of buildings, including some that are eligible to be listed on the National Register, and have received NYS Preservation awards. Housing Visions serves low- to moderate-income households including special populations such as the physically handicapped, developmentally disabled, victims of domestic violence, and the homeless.