Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that applications are open for comprehensive programs supporting residents of East Buffalo as part of the state's historic $50 million targeted investments. The Governor announced applications WILL BE available MONDAY for THE second round of the $4 million East Side Commercial Districts Program, which is creating an expanded building renovation program in four investment areas—Jefferson Avenue Commercial District, MLK Park Business District, Broadway Fillmore, and Kensington Bailey—to improve the business climate, combat commercial vacancies, and contribute to the corridors' overall revitalization. Additionally, Governor Hochul announced that applications for the $20 million Buffalo East Homeowner Assistance Fund, $10 million Buffalo East Home Improvement Program, and $4.5 million East Buffalo Down Payment Assistance Plus Program will open on Tuesday, August 9. Starting Wednesday, August 3, residents can call 211 to learn about our housing programs and small business grants and how to apply.
"As members of the East Buffalo community continue to heal from this terrible tragedy, we remain committed to taking on systemic challenges to help recover and build back stronger," Governor Kathy Hochul said. "On this Day of Hope and Healing, I am proud to announce these vital resources available to East Buffalo residents in collaboration with the City, the County, community members and other partners."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "With the launch of applications for the second round of the East Side Commercial Districts Program, we will begin to see capital investments that will transform these commercial districts, developing and enhancing businesses and increasing mixed-use opportunities that better serve and revitalize these Buffalo neighborhoods."
East Side Commercial Districts Program
Applications for the East Side Commercial Districts Program are due Friday, September 16, and will be available on Monday, August 1 at the website for each Local Program Administrator (LPA): Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services (BFNHS), Citizens' Alliance, Inc. in partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce and University District Community Development Association (UDCDA). A public information session, to provide details of the program and second round application process, is scheduled for Tuesday, August 9 at 5:30 p.m. at PS 309 East Community High School, located at 820 Northampton Street in Buffalo. There will also be a virtual option. If you plan to attend in person or virtually, please RSVP here.
As members of the East Buffalo community continue to heal from this terrible tragedy, we remain committed to taking on systemic challenges to help recover and build back stronger
Governor Kathy Hochul
$20 Million Buffalo East Homeowner Assistance Fund Program (BEHAF)
The Governor announced the $20 million Buffalo East Homeowner Assistance Fund Program (BEHAF) to assist homeowners behind on water, taxes, sewer charges and user fees, which will run through the Western New York Law Center (WNYC).
$10 Million Buffalo East Home Improvement Program (BEHIP)
Governor Hochul also established the Buffalo East Home Improvement Program (BEHIP) to assist homeowners with emergency home repairs including code violations and major system repairs. This will be administered by five local nonprofits: PUSH Buffalo, Broadway-Fillmore, NeighborWorks Community Partners, Heart of the City and the Community Action Organization of Buffalo.
$4.5 Million East Buffalo Down Payment Assistance Plus Program (DPAL+)
To assist residents in purchasing a home by providing Down Payment Assistance, Governor Hochul additionally announced the creation of the East Buffalo Down Payment Assistant Plus Program (DPAL+). The program will be offered through three SONYMA participating lenders: Premium Mortgage, M&T Bank, and First Priority Mortgage.
Opening of Goodwill Goodskills Career Builder Walk-in Center
In June, Governor Hochul announced that the State would invest $1.5 million to partner with Goodwill to expand the 'Goodskills' Career Builder Program for East Buffalo. This program builds off the Goodskills pilot program launched in 2021 and will equip individuals from communities in East Buffalo with the skills employers seek to fill higher-paying, in-demand jobs in manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and sales and services.
On Monday, August 1, Goodwill will open a Goodskills Career Builder walk-in center at the Group Ministries office at 1333 Jefferson Avenue. The program focuses on equipping individuals from East Buffalo with the skills employers seek to fill higher-paying, in-demand jobs in manufacturing, tech, healthcare, and sales and services. The walk-in center will allow local residents to gather information and sign up for the program there.