3.4 Million Available in Rental Assistance as the Eviction Moratorium Is Set to Expire January 15, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2022  

 

MAYOR BYRON W. BROWN

Contact: Mike DeGeorge 

mdegeorge@ch.ci.buffalo.ny.us 

3.4 Million Available in Rental Assistance as the
Eviction Moratorium Is Set to Expire January 15, 2022

Buffalo, NY: As New York State’s eviction moratorium law expires on January 15, Mayor Byron W. Brown, Board Chair of the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA), informs tenants that $3.4 Million in Stand Up Buffalo rental assistance funds are available for tenants facing eviction.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, the City of Buffalo has worked tirelessly to ensure our residents remain safely housed in a stable environment through various programs,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “With the expiration of the eviction moratorium, we must continue to inform those in need of the resources available  – especially during this cold winter weather.”

In 2021, the City of Buffalo awarded 5,031 eligible residents with rental assistance, totaling an amount of $26,805,633, averaging $5,300 per awarded resident.

Given the challenge of applying for funds, Brendan Mehaffy, Vice-Chair of BURA and Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Planning, advises and encourages residents in need of rental assistance to call 2-1-1 as a first step. 

“Eligible residents should also be aware that the sooner they apply for rental assistance, the better, and that a pending application for rental assistance will help them remain in their home until further assistance can be given,” Mehaffy said. 

Mehaffy continues: “It is also important for residents  to appear in court with representation from the legal services community to ensure they receive all the protections provided under the law.”

BURA encourages residents facing evictions to contact the available legal services providers, including the WNY Law Center (716- 855-0203), Center for Elder Law and Justice (716-853-3087), Volunteer Lawyers Project (716-852-8687), Legal Aid Bureau (716-853-9555), and Neighborhood Legal Services (716-847-0650). Residents in Erie County and outside of the City of Buffalo who have received a notice to appear in Erie County Hub Court are encouraged to call 1-844-238-7376 to connect to a Legal Services provider. 

Residents can learn more about eligibility and rental assistance at standupbuffalo.com.

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About the City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA)

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.

Mayor Byron W. Brown Re-Launches Stand-Up Buffalo Buffalo Rental Assistance System to Provide Income Eligible Tenants Relief While New York Awaits Additional Federal Aid

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2021  

 

MAYOR BYRON W. BROWN

Contact: Mike DeGeorge 

mdegeorge@buffalony.gov 

MAYOR BYRON W. BROWN RE-LAUNCHES STAND-UP BUFFALO RENTAL ASSISTANCE  SYSTEM TO PROVIDE INCOME ELIGIBLE TENANTS RELIEF WHILE NEW YORK  AWAITS ADDITIONAL FEDERAL AID 

Buffalo, NY—Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency  (BURA) will re-launch its STAND-UP Buffalo rental assistance program for income eligible residents to  cover any gaps created by the complete expenditure of funds from the New York State Emergency Rental  Assistance Program (ERAP). The City of Buffalo, along with most of the municipalities across the State,  partnered with the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) to create a single, unified  portal that City residents could use to apply for rental assistance funds. The portal could be accessed through  the internet or a toll-free hotline. Last week, Governor Hochul announced that the ERAP system was being  temporarily shut-down due to the complete allocation of all available funds and that she was seeking nearly  $1 billion in additional rental assistance from the federal government to meet the ongoing demand. 

Mayor Brown said, “My Administration is committed to using every resource available to continue helping  struggling residents who need rental assistance as a result of the disruptions in our work and economic lives  directly or indirectly related to the pandemic. The rising number of COVID cases in Western New York is only  the latest demonstration that this pandemic is not over yet. That is why the City is re-launching its STAND UP Buffalo rental assistance services because no family should have to begin the holiday season in danger of  being evicted.” 

Since its launch, the OTDA ERAP portal has provided rental assistance to over 2,600 residents and disbursed  approximately $17.4 million in aid to people living in the City of Buffalo. BURA’s STAND-UP Buffalo program  will provide at least an additional $2 million in assistance to income qualifying renters who owe six months or  

less of unpaid rent. Residents can begin the application process by calling 211. After that initial intake call,  they will be referred to one of the following community partners to compile the required documentation and  formally submit their application. The following list of non-profit organizations are partnering with the City in  this effort: 

• Heart of the City Neighborhoods 

• Old First Ward Community Center 

• University District Community Development Association 

• Belmont Housing Resources 

• Buffalo Urban League 

• Catholic Charities of Western New York 

• The Center for Elder Law and Justice 

• The Belle Center 

• Harvest House Buffalo 

• Matt Urban Hope Center 

• Metro CDC (a partnership of the Delavan-Grider Community Center, Mt. Olive Development Corporation,  and Western New York Muslims)  

• Neighborhood Legal Services 

• Restoration Society, Inc. 

Brendan Mehaffy, Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Planning, said, “Buffalo has led New York State  in providing assistance to renters during the pandemic. Early on the Brown administration created a multi  faceted collaborative strategy that could adapt quickly to the opportunities and challenges presented. With  the closure of the NYS ERAP program, the rental assistance network we created has shifted quickly to relaunch  the STAND UP Buffalo rental assistance program to assist renters during this critical time of need.” 

STAND-UP Buffalo was launched in February of 2021 as a one-stop shop for residents, small business owners,  and others to access information concerning the City’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, apply  for assistance, and be linked to other resources. People can visit the site at: standupbuffalo.com. Eligible  residents may start calling 211 to apply for assistance on Monday, November 29th. 

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Available City of Buffalo Tenant and Landlord Assistance

Oct 12, 2021

Available City of Buffalo Tenant and Landlord Assistance

Do You Still Have Tenants Unable to Pay Rent? The City of Buffalo Can Help! 

There are still funds available for rental & utility assistance for tenants. 

  • Help us link your tenants to emergency rental assistance (ERAP) resources and partner organizations who can guide you and your tenants through the ERAP application process.

  • We can even schedule an application event at your location.  

  • Contact The City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) at buranews@ch.ci.buffalo.ny.us or call 716-851-6564 for more information

Do You Need Help with Tenants Who are Not Pursuing the ERAP Application Process? The City of Buffalo Can Help! 

A new landlord hardship fund, Landlord Rental Assistance Program (LRAP), was launched by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, New York State, October 7, 2021.

  • Eligible landlords must own units leased at or below 150 percent of fair market rent for their location and must have documented the rental arrears accumulated after March 1, 2020, that are owed by a tenant who either vacated the unit or is declining to participate in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

  • Learn more at otda.ny.gov/lrap for information about the LRAP or contact 2-1-1 to apply today!

For more information, visit standupbuffalo.com.

MAYOR BYRON W. BROWN ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF BUFFALO URBAN RENEWAL AGENCY “STAND UP Buffalo” INITIATIVE

DATE: June 2, 2021 
Contact: Dana R. Harris, Communications Manager 
O: (716) 851-5581 C: (716) 481-6802 
Email: drharris@city-buffalo.com 

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 (ny.gov). 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  

otda.ny.gov/ERAP. 

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. 

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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.

MAYOR BYRON W. BROWN ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF BUFFALO URBAN RENEWAL AGENCY “STAND UP Buffalo” INITIATIVE

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: February 4, 2021
Contact: Dana R. Harris, Communications Manager
O: (716) 851-5581
Email: drharris@buffalony.gov

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

HOW TO APPLY

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.

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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.