Vacant NY Building to Become Affordable Housing Property

The nine-apartment project is part of PUSH Buffalo's revitalization plan to spur development across a 30-block area on the city's West Side.

The existing building at 417 Massachusetts Ave.

The existing building at 417 Massachusetts Ave.

Construction has started on a $2.3 million affordable housing project in Buffalo, N.Y. A vacant, fire-damaged building will be converted into a nine-unit community that will also include ground-floor commercial space. The project—dubbed GDZ homes—is part of PUSH Buffalo’s Green Development Zone revitalization plan for a 30-block area on the city’s West Side. 

Located at 417 Massachusetts Ave., the property is set to feature two-bedroom apartments on the upper two floors, with a WASH Project Laundromat and Cultural Arts Center below. Rents will range between $600 and $900 per month and will be affordable to households earning at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income. 

“First, it will have quality, energy-efficient, affordable homes. Second, it will reactivate a much needed community business that serves many immediate-area residents. Third, it serves as a gathering space that celebrates the valuable diversity to ensure old traditions are not lost and new residents are welcomed in,” said City Council Member David Rivera, in prepared remarks.

Collective financing effort

Financing for the redevelopment project includes $1.7 million in New York State HOME Program funds and $309,210 from the Community Investment Fund. The Federal Home Loan Bank and NYS Energy Research Development Authority are providing additional financing.

The addition of nine units of green affordable housing at the site will make a lasting contribution to PUSH’s efforts to combat gentrification and displacement on the West Side, while the inclusion of 17kw solar array will serve as another example of energy democracy in action,” added PUSH Buffalo Executive Director Rahwa Ghirmatzion.

The project is part of Governor Cuomo’s plan to build or preserve more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested more than $274 million in the Western New York region.

Image via Google Street View

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