DATE: June 2, 2021 
Contact: Dana R. Harris, Communications Manager 
O: (716) 851-5581 C: (716) 481-6802 

Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency launches campaign to make residents  aware of funding for rental assistance 

City of Buffalo recipient of Emergency Rental Assistance Funding from U.S Treasury 

Buffalo, N.Y. – Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today the launch of a new campaign as part of the commencement of the New York State’s Emergency Rental  Assistance Program (ERAP). The City of Buffalo has partnered with the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to administer the statewide program. With over 23 billion dollars in funding provided through the America  Rescue Plan, ERAP will provide up to 12 months of rental and utility assistance to residents at 80 percent of the median income for City residents. 

As the community continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the public service announcement campaign will notify both landlords and their tenants of the opportunity to push the “reset” button in advance of the Eviction Moratorium expiration on August 31, 2021. The goal is for residents to develop a plan to keep them out of the eviction system by making past due rent payments in the circumstance that they have fallen behind due to financial hardship. 

“The City of Buffalo has worked hard from the very beginning of the pandemic to keep our residents safely and stably housed through various programs funded through the CARES Act and other funding sources,” said Mayor Brown. “ERAP and  the campaign highlight the urgency for residents to protect their families and future  by ensuring landlord/tenant agreements are in place and applying for rental assistance as needed.” 

The ERAP program is officially accepting applications at Home Page – ERAP Portal ( Residents are also advised to call the NYS ERAP call center at 1-844-NY1-RENT for questions about documentation. For assistance in completing the application or some part of it, residents may also call 2-1-1 to connect with a service provider. 

While Buffalo residents will not receive assistance for arrears already paid by Live  Well, FEMA, STAND UP Eviction Prevention or other programs, by applying to the  ERAP program, landlords and tenants may receive payment for additional months for which rent is owed. 

ERAP is funded by $2.6 billion in federal resources and $100 million in state funding. This is structured to help the state and the City of Buffalo collaborate and coordinate efforts as well as leverage resources. OTDA has organized an unprecedented effort to establish partnerships with the city and other local governments across the state to ensure that community-based organizations will provide outreach and direct application assistance in multiple languages to potential recipients.  

“It is critical that we communicate these additional protections for our residents in a highly visible and broad manner prior to August 31,” said BURA Vice-Chair Brendan Mehaffy. “Our campaign will cast a wide net with outreach efforts in every  neighborhood in our city.” 

The new campaign is a component of the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency’s STAND  UP Buffalo initiative. For additional information, qualifications, and documentation  requirements, please visit the OTDA Rental Assistance website at 

This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number ERA0275 awarded to the City of Buffalo by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 


About the City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency 

The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) is a public benefit corporation that was formed by an act of the New  York State Legislature in 1966. We strive to promote the expeditious undertaking, financing, and completion of community development programs and create quality and vibrant urban living in Buffalo through neighborhood-driven development projects.


CARES Act funded programs to respond to housing & small business needs

DATE: February 4, 2021
Contact: Dana R. Harris, Communications Manager
O: (716) 851-5581

Buffalo, N.Y. – Mayor Byron W. Brown, announced today the launch of the Small Business, Tenants, And Neighborhood Development Underwriting Program or “STAND UP Buffalo” Initiative. The initiative is comprised of a series of direct assistance grants and programs that will allow residents and business owners to respond to the unique challenges the global Coronavirus Pandemic has caused in Buffalo and cities across the nation. Eligible applicants can begin applying for assistance from BURA, and its community partners, beginning February 8, 2021.

Mayor Brown said, “For almost a year now, Buffalo’s residents and small businesses have had to find innovative ways to cope with the challenges posed by the COVID- 19 pandemic and the guidelines that have been put in place to help slow the spread. Today’s announcement of a new set of assistance programs will help our City’s tenants, homeowners, and entrepreneurs access the resources they need to continue operating during these difficult circumstances and give people the hope they need as the vaccine becomes more widely accessible and the end of the pandemic’s restrictions are within sight.”

The City of Buffalo received $11 million from the CARES Act and other funding sources to fund the STAND UP Buffalo programs. From that grant, BURA proactively developed new programs to meet the specific needs which have been identified below:
  • Eviction Prevention
  • Foreclosure Prevention
  • Fair Housing
  • Owner & Rental Housing Rehab
  • Microenterprise Assistance
  • Digital Inclusion Analysis


BURA is partnering with several community agencies and entities to provide services to qualifying participants. Eligible applicants must have incomes below 80 percent of the area median income. BURA established a new Central Intake System, which residents can access by calling 2-1-1, 3-1-1, or one of the partnering agencies administering the desired services. After answering some questions, the central intake system will direct qualifying applicants to the appropriate service program so they can access the appropriate form and type of assistance.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS Below is a list of community agencies that are partnering with the City to deliver these critical services to City residents and small businesses:

  • 2-1-1 WNY
  • Matt Urban Center
  • Restoration Society
  • Belmont Housing Resources
  • Center for Elder Law and Justice
  • Catholic Charities
  • Buffalo Urban League
  • Old First Ward Community Association
  • Heart of the City Neighborhoods
  • University District Community Development Association
  • Housing Opportunities Made Equal
  • Neighborhood Legal Services
  • Westminster Economic Development Initiative

“The Matt Urban Center provides a wide range of services to the East Side of Buffalo including, home repairs and weatherization, affordable housing development, multiple programs aimed at addressing homelessness as well as robust programs for youth and seniors,” said Ben Hilligas, Executive Director. Our mission is to provide programs that revitalize neighborhoods, serve families, and change lives. When I hear ‘STAND UP Buffalo’ I immediately think of the strength and resilience of our community and the solidarity we demonstrate and represent as citizens of the City of Buffalo. We thank the Mayor for his commitment to fair and equal housing in the City of Buffalo.”

“Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) looks forward to partnering with BURA in delivering key COVID-19 related fair housing information and services to City of Buffalo residents,” said DeAnna Eason, Executive Director. “The concurrent nature of both the health and housing crises facing our community only serves to elevate the importance of disseminating accurate and relevant materials to residents and area agencies. The funding provided through BURA will allow us to widely broadcast our fair housing services and engage with clients who were previously unaware of their rights within the current COVID-19 parameters.”

The City is looking to make investments that will have long-term impacts once the pandemic ends. It is estimated that nearly 2,000 residents will receive these services in 2021.


About the City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) is a public benefit corporation that was formed by an act of the New York State Legislature in 1966. We strive to promote the expeditious undertaking, financing and completion of community development programs and create quality and vibrant urban living in Buffalo through neighborhood driven development projects.