In our city, housing is a human right guaranteed to everyone in the city of Buffalo. Over the past decade, gentrification in Buffalo has been taking place at an unprecedented rate due to the influx of public dollars through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion economic development program. This has created the conditions for an unaffordable housing crisis that is now taking place and threatening to displace longtime residents from their homes. This developer-driven economic development is driven by profit margins. The City of Buffalo has the power to support renters, working-class homeowners and people experiencing chronic homelessness. Here’s how:
Invest in people, not developers: In our city, people don’t have to pay more taxes to subsidize luxury apartments for multi-millionaire developers. This includes the repeal of the 485-a tax abatement that the City of Buffalo has codified through the City Charter and instead use it to pay for affordable, subsidized, and supportive housing for the most vulnerable populations, including LGBTQ youth, veterans, people with disabilities, and working class families who are being displaced due to gentrification.
Expand Renters Rights and Tenant Protections: In our city, renters have a right to a lawyer in Buffalo Housing Court. Expansion of renters rights and tenant protections would also include best practices from across the country, including “Good Cause” eviction. No one should have to fear eviction because they want access to quality and affordable housing.
Affordable Housing For All: In our city, there is quality, energy efficient affordable housing for everyone. The City of Buffalo needs to pass a city-wide inclusionary zoning policy which includes a 30% affordability requirement based on the Area Median Income (AMI). Landlords also cannot discriminate against people based on public assistance needs, race, or gender identity.