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Read on for the latest news from the staff at 251 Virginia Street!
 
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!


It's hard to believe 2015 is already here- I guess time does fly when you're having fun!  2014 was a year of great reflection, planning and behind the scenes work here at HOCN. We executed a Community Feedback Survey to learn more about your needs, as well as worked closely with the Buffalo Green and Healthy Homes Initiative as the Production Manager.  On the front line, we moved a new homeowner into the community, restoring a vacant a single-family, stucco home in the process. We also brought minor home repair funding to 27 units of homeowner housing, helping to keep those investing in our community here.

We ended the year writing grant applications, and we're kicking the year off with a few more in hopes of expanding and continuing the services we offer homeowners and tenants in the community.
We're eager to update you on some exciting new projects this Spring!

As we get through winter and start off this new year, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the great resources available to homeowners and tenants that you can learn about below, including HEAP Benefits and the EmPower Program.

We're looking forward to an exciting year in the Lower West Side!

Sincerely,

Stephanie Simeon, Executive Director

 


 

 
 

2014 COMMUNITY FEEDBACK SURVEY RESULTS

At the end of 2014, we asked our neighbors in the 14201 and 14202 community to tell us more about their housing needs.  A huge thanks to all who participated and made their voices heard- we'll be taking a hard look at your responses as we strategically plan for the future of our organization. A special thanks to M&T Bank for their support, without which this project would not have been possible.
We've collected the results, and you can view them here!
 
 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING NEWS FEATURE

Heart of the City was featured in Affordable Housing News Magazine’s Winter 2014 Issue! The two-page spread is a great look at the holistic approach we take to community revitalization. Have a look by clicking here and turning to page 88! 
 
 

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR LAWN SIGNS?

An HOCN sign on a home’s front lawn means we’re investing in the community! A sign that reads “Project Brought to You By HOCN” is a homeowner receiving grant assistance through our Minor Home Repair Programming. A sign that reads “Property For Sale By HOCN” is a vacant-rehab ready for a new homeowner. You can learn more about the programming we offer by visiting our website.
 
 

DO YOU HAVE LOWER WEST SIDE LOVE?

What better way to show it then by sporting a Lower West Side T Shirt! HOCN is currently selling an amazing Lower West Side T Shirt, thanks to You and Who and Nickel City Graphics, for just $22 with all proceeds benefiting our great neighborhood.  Grab your size before they're gone by stopping in our office or ordering online!
Purchase your tshirt online here.
 
 


HEART OF THE CITY FLASHBACK FACT

Did you know that back in 2007, HOCN and Brush up Buffalo painted 13 homes in 1 day, with the help of 700 volunteers? Check out photos from the event here.

 

 

 

HOME REPAIR GRANTS INFORMATIONAL DINNER

Primetime Energy Services will be hosting an informational session on January 8th at 6:00pm at West Side Community Center, 161 Vermont Street, to talk about home repair assistance programs available to homeowners. They’ll answer the tough questions you may have on how to upgrade your home and how to access grant money. These funds are available for home owners and tenants to help pay for improvements on your home. Reserve a seat for dinner with Primetime Energy Services by calling 685-4331 or emailing lisa@primetime-energy.com. View and share the event flyer here.
 

 

DID YOU KNOW? A TENANT/LANDLORD FACT

Did you know that according to New York State's Tenant Rights, before signing a lease, prospective tenants are entitled to receive a complete set or summary of the past two years’ bills from the landlord? These copies must be provided free upon written request and can be helpful for tenants to gauge the affordability of an apartment. So take advantage of this budgeting opportunity! 
To learn more about the rights of a tenant, click here.

 

 

PROGRAMS TO HELP YOU STAY WARM THIS WINTER

Do you have a hard time paying your heating bills each winter? Is your family on a fixed income? There's a variety of programs that you and your family may qualify for, including HEAP, EmPower, and the Weatherization Assistance Program.
Learn more about these programs and how to apply here.

 

 

CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY TIPS

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 500 people die from accidental Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning each year in the U.S. With low temperatures hitting our community this winter, we encourage everyone to stay safe and healthy by knowing the facts about CO poisoning and prevention.
January is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month, so we encourage you to install CO Detectors outside of all bedrooms and have your heating system and chimneys inspected each year. Learn more safety tips from the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative online here.

 

CONNECT WITH NEIGHBORS

Looking for a way to stay in touch with neighbors in our community? Have an event you want to get the word out about? News for your neighbors? A problem you could use a neighborly hand with? Connect online here.
 

 

 

B DISTRICT MEETING

The Buffalo Police Department's B District hosts monthly community meetings on the second Monday of the month at their headquarters, 695 Main Street. For questions or to confirm a meeting date, please contact the B District Office at (716) 851-4403.


HOME REPAIR GRANTS DINNER

Primetime Energy Services will be offering a free informational dinner on Thursday, January 8th at 6:00pm in West Side Community Center at 161 Vermont Street to help educate residents on home repair grants available. Register by calling (716) 685-4331.
 

 

TREE RECYCLING

The City of Buffalo will be collecting curb side Christmas tree recycling on your regularly scheduled trash pickup day during the week of January 5th. Please leave your trees by the curb, unbagged. Trees will be picked up separately from trash. For more info on drop off sites, visit The City of Buffalo online or call 311.


E-WASTE RECYCLING

On Saturday, January 17th, the City of Buffalo will be collecting electronic waste, Christmas trees, and even Christmas tree lights for recycling. Simply bring your items to 1120 Seneca St between 9:00am-12:00pm.  For more info on drop off sites, visit The City of Buffalo online or call 311.
 
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Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. does not create barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color,
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