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Read on for the latest news from the staff at 251 Virginia Street!
 
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A BUSY START IN 2016!


Our Winter 2016 Newsletter is reaching your inbox a little late this year, and that's because our team has had quite the busy start to the New Year!

We're excited to announce that we'll be moving our office and will be in our new location on Monday, February 22nd. Our new space at 191 North Street will give our staff more space and capacity to better assist our community and its residents. We appreciate your patience as we transition into our new location next week. You can learn more about our new space and the upcoming move below.

To kick off the new year and help you get through the cold winter months ahead, we've included our 2015 Annual Report for you to review, as well as information on available resources for homeowners and first-time home buyers. We encourage you to look into educational courses like First-Time Home Buyer Seminars and Financial Education Courses to help plan for Spring- it will be here before we know it!


We're looking forward to another great year here in the Lower West Side and in the Niagara District!


Sincerely,

Stephanie Simeon, Executive Director

 


 

 
 

BIG NEWS... WE'RE MOVING!

Heart of the City Neighborhoods will be relocating our office to 191 North Street, Suite 1, Buffalo NY 14201 as of Monday, February 22nd. Our office will be closed as we move during the week of February 15th-19th. Our phone number and staff emails will all remain the same. Please update our address in your records and stop by our new office soon!
Click here to see our new office location on Google Maps.
 

OUR 2015 ANNUAL REPORT

Our new Annual Report highlights all of the amazing work our team accomplished in 2015. We expanded our reach outside of our service area to offer new affordable housing programs, as well as continued the hard work our organization has become known for. We invested over $700,000 into the community, but there's still more work to be done!
Read our 2015 Annual Report by clicking here.
 

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 who would like to be included in our BMSI Program on Niagara Street.
To learn more, click here.
 

MT. AARON MANOR TAKES SHAPE

Mt. Aaron Manor, the affordable rental units HOCN is helping Mt. Aaron Baptist Church develop, is currently being framed, despite this cold weather. Mt. Aaron Manor will be a two story, 10 unit apartment building located at 528 Genesee Street, Buffalo, NY 14204, adjacent to the Mt. Aaron Missionary Baptist Church. All units of this vacant lot-infill will be one bedroom apartments and available for seniors ages 62 and older on a fixed-income.
Take a look at the construction progress here.
 

ASSISTING THE NIAGARA DISTRICT IN 2016

HOCN is pleased to announce that we will be continuing our work with the City of Buffalo and City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) through 2016. As part of the Community Partnership Initiative, we will work to assist Niagara District homeowners with accessing programs to assist with needed home repairs.
Learn more about programs available to Niagara District homeowners here.
 

HELP SUPPORT OUR BIG MOVE!

What better way to show you love the Lower West Side then by sporting a t shirt! HOCN is currently offering a sale on our Lower West Side T Shirts. You can grab your shirt for just $10 (shipping included.) During the month of February, all proceeds will benefit our organization's move to our new office at 191 North Street. Supplies are limited! 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 in the summer of 2011, HOCN held a forum for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) to help connect with contractors? The event was a great success that got coverage in the Buffalo News. You can view the original news article online by clicking here.


 

 

 

HEAP PROGRAM

HEAP is federally funded assistance with home heating costs and energy conservation for eligible households. Program components include benefit assistance for heat and electricity, furnace repair or replacement, weatherization referral, and cooling assistance (in summer months-based on medical necessity). If you're on a fixed income, this program can help lower your energy costs.
Learn more about how to apply for this program here.

 

 

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.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW? A TENANT/LANDLORD FACT

Did you know that according to New York State's Tenant Rights, when the landlord of a multiple dwelling is delinquent in paying utility bills, the utility must give advance written notice to tenants and to certain government agencies of its intent to discontinue service? Service may not be discontinued if tenants pay the landlord’s current bill directly to the utility company. Tenants can deduct these charges from future rent payments. The Public Service Commission can assist tenants with related problems.
To learn more about your rights as a tenant, click here.
 

 

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.

 

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.

WINTER PARKING

 Don't forget, Winter Parking Restrictions are in place for streets with bus routes. There's no parking from 1:30am-7:00am until April 1st. For a list of streets that are not or have special regulations enforced, visit the City of Buffalo's website or call 311.

LOWER WEST SIDE GREEN CODE MEETING

A Fillmore District Green Code Meeting will be held on February 9th, at 6:00 pm in the Allendale Theatre, at 203 Allen St., Buffalo, NY 14201. This meeting will focus on Allentown, Lower West Side, and the Waterfront (downtown) neighborhoods. We encourage you to attend and make your voice heard.

NIAGARA STREET NOW WORKSHOP

 A Niagara Street Now workshop will be held on Tuesday, February 16th, from 6:00pm - 8:00pm, in Room 111 at D'Youville College's College Center, at 329 Porter Ave. Whether you live, work, travel, or just casually use Niagara Street, it's important your input is gathered for this historic project. 
 

FIRST TIME HOME BUYER COURSES

If you're thinking about purchasing your first home, we always recommend you take a free First Time Home Buyer Education Course. Not only will these course provide a ton of important information, but they'll also direct you to great resources. Belmont Housing Resources is one of many great service providers offering this course. You can view their February and March dates and register online here.

SPRING IT ON 2016 ONLINE FUNDRAISER

HOCN will be participating in the 24 hour online fundraiser, Spring It On, once again! This year's fundraiser will be start on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 8:00am running through Friday, March 25th at 8:00am. Last year we raised $980 thanks to our amazing supporters! Our goal is to break $1,000 this year, so stay tuned to learn how you can help!
 

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!

FREE TAX PREP

Tax preparation can cost as much as $300 per household! If your household income was less than $62,000 in 2015, you qualify for free tax prep. To find a location closest to you that's offering free tax prep this month, call 2-1-1.
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Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. does not create barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color,
religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin,  sexual orientation, or gender identity.






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