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Read on for the latest news from the staff at 251 Virginia Street!
 
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SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY HERE!


We've had quite a busy start to summer at Heart of the City Neighborhoods!
Mt Aaron Manor Apartments are officially complete, providing affordable rental housing to seniors. Our Home Repair Assistance and City of Buffalo Emergency Repair programs are in full swing, with contractors busy working on these sunny days to ensure homeowners can remain their homes. And our volunteers are out in the community, making a huge impact across the West Side.

We encourage you to take advantage of the beautiful weather by staying active in your community. It's not too late to get involved with our organization and mission this year; We're always looking for groups to work with on volunteer projects across the community, or you can contribute to our mission by making a donation today. Looking to get even more involved? We have a job opening on our team!


Check in on your elderly neighbors during the hot, muggy days. Be conscious of open windows- protect your home by closing and locking all windows when you're not home. And don't put off home repairs, as winter will be back before we know it. If you need assistance finding resources available to make needed repairs, contact our office today at (716) 882-7661. Please note that our summer hours are in effect, which means our hardworking staff will be available Monday-Thursday, 9:00am-5:00pm.

We hope you have a happy and safe summer!


Sincerely,

Stephanie Simeon, Executive Director


 

 
 

VOLUNTEERS MAKING AN IMPACT

Over the past three months, we’ve had 72 volunteers join us to help clean up our West Side community.  They’ve made a huge impact so far, collecting over 87 bags of trash, beautifying 4 gardens, 7 vacant lots, and 27 blocks, and planting 16 flowers.
Our thanks to all of our volunteer event participants, including the Buffalo AmeriCorps, The Service Collaborative of WNY, Buffalo State College, and the HEOP students from Daemen College. A special thanks to M&T Bank and University Heights Tool Library for providing support for these events.
Take a look at the impact of these three volunteer events here.
 

JOIN THE HOCN TEAM!

Do you have a passion for affordable housing and community development in the West Side of Buffalo? HOCN is now hiring a Community Enrichment Coordinator to support our mission. Join our team!
Learn more about our Community Enrichment Coordinator position here!
 

MT AARON MANOR APARTMENTS OFFICIALLY OPEN

On Wednesday, June 29th, 2016, Mt Aaron Manor Apartments held a Grand Opening Ceremony as construction was coming to end. HOCN served as the developer on this project, working closely with Mt Aaron Baptist Church to ensure funding was secured and construction ran smoothly. A big thanks to everyone involved on this exciting project, including Mayor Byron Brown, Senator Timothy Kennedy, Council President Darius Pridgen, Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes, County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams, HHL Architects, Cannon, Heyman & Weiss, Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc., Panamerican Environmental, Inc., Lamparelli Construction, the City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, the Federal Home Loan Bank, M&T Bank, and Evans Bank.
See pictures from the event, and the finished apartments, on our Facebook Page.
 
 

M&T BANK SUPPORTS OUR COMMUNITY OUTREACH

HOCN would like to thank The M&T Bank Charitable Foundation for their investment of $1,500 in Heart of the City Neighborhoods’ community development initiatives. Their support has made all three of our 2016 volunteer events possible. The M&T Charitable Foundation strives to strengthen our communities by providing support for a diverse range of civic, cultural, health and human service organizations. It is only with the support of donors like M&T Bank that HOCN is able to ensure our community the presence through volunteer events and outreach initiatives. Thank you, M&T Bank Charitable Foundation!
To learn more about The M&T Bank Charitable Foundation, visit their website.

 
 

THANK YOU FIRST NIAGARA FOUNDATION

Heart of the City Neighborhoods would like to thank the First Niagara Foundation for providing $8,000 to our organization to support the development and outreach of the Bailey Green project. HOCN is very grateful for First Niagara’s continued generosity of our ongoing affordable housing programs that benefit some of Buffalo’s most income challenged communities. Since 1998 our organizations mission has and continues to be committed to providing quality, safe and affordable housing in areas of need and aim to develop sustainable projects that will not only revitalize neglected neighborhoods but impact the City as a whole. The ripple effect of First Niagara’s support is definitely felt Buffalo's most deserving communities.
Visit First Niagara online to learn more about their Community Commitment.
 


HEART OF THE CITY FLASHBACK FACT

Did you know that in 2008, HOCN used proceeds from the sale of 23 and 42 Plymouth to purchase, rehabilitate, and re-sell a deteriorating property on 263 Hudson Street to a first-time homebuyer. You can see before and after photos on our website here.


 

 

 

WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Is your home drafty? Have high heating bills? Don't wait until winter to address it! Homeowners can receive up to $5,000 from the City of Buffalo for weatherization upgrades, including insulation and weather-stripping, repairs of heating systems, and more. Learn how to apply by visiting our website.

 

 

DOWN PAYMENT CLOSING COST ASSISTANCE

Are you purchasing your first home in the City of Buffalo? Up to $5,000 in funding, provided by the City of Buffalo, is available to first time homebuyers to assist with closing cost and down payment expenses towards the purchase of their home anywhere in the City of Buffalo. We can help you apply! For more information, visit our website.

 

 

HOME REPAIR ASSISTANCE FOR 14201 & 14202

Did you know that HOCN has home repair grants for homeowners available in the 14201 and 14202 area? If you're in need of repairs to your home's roof, siding, heating system, windows, and more, contact our office today to learn how we can assist you!
Learn more about this program here.

 

 

LOAN ASSISTANCE FOR NIAGARA DISTRICT

Have high heating bills? Is your roof leaking? Is there water backing up in your basement? If you're a homeowner in the Niagara District in need of assistance making emergency repairs or looking to weatherize your home before next winter, HOCN may be able to assist you!
For more information about available programs through the City of Buffalo, visit our website.

 
REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS
Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. has been awarded a $300,000 grant through New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s (HCR) Buffalo Main Streets Initiative (BMSI). This grant allows us to assist the owners of commercial and mixed-use properties located on Niagara Street in Buffalo’s Lower West Side with significant building renovation and façade restoration projects. HOCN is currently seeking contractors and architects who would like to be included in our BMSI Program on Niagara Street.
To learn more, click here.

 

DID YOU KNOW? A TENANT/LANDLORD FACT

Did you know that according to New York State's Tenant Rights, tenants or their spouses living with them who are 62 years or older are entitled to terminate their leases if they are certified by a physician as being no longer able, for medical reasons, to live independently or need to relocate to an adult care facility, a residential health care facility, subsidized low-income housing, or other senior citizen housing?
To learn more about your rights as a tenant, click 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 on the Lower West Side Facebook Page!
 

 

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.

RECYCLING INFO

The City of Buffalo as created a helpful online resource to help make recycling easier for you and your household.
Don't have a green recycling tote? Need more for your household? Call 311 today to request your free totes and go green!
FALL BULK TRASH
 The City of Buffalo will be collecting Fall Bulk Trash in our community early, starting in July. Please leave your bulk trash items on the curb on the Sunday night allocated for your Council District.
Ellicott District: July 31st
Fillmore District: August 7th
Niagara District: August 14th
For more details about trash collection, click here or call 311.
POOLS OPEN
The City of Buffalo pools are now open, so you can beat the heat!
The hours of operation for LaSalle Park's pool and splash pad are:
Centennial Pool: Sunday-Friday, 11am-7pm
Centennial Splash Pad: Daily, 11am-7pm
For more details, visit the City of Buffalo online or call 311.

BACKPACK GIVEAWAY

The Annual Back Pack Giveaway will be held at Sunuco Gas Station, 211 Niagara Street, on Saturday, September 3rd at 12:00pm, hosted by Keeping the Peace. Heart of the City is once again proud to support this community effort with our contribution of school supplies.
 
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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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