““Freedom, Justice and Equality for All, Love of God and Our Fellow Man; Doing All the Good We Can for Our Community," Andrew J. Smitherman (1883-1961). The Purpose of the Buffalo Empire Star is to keep the African-American community informed about past, current and future events to continue onward in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality in the spirt of the underground railroad pioneers.

Residents oppose rental housing units in fruit belt community

The Buffalo News reported today, “St. John Community Development Corp., an arm of St. John Baptist Church on Goodell Street, wants to construct 17 buildings of two, three and four units that would be rented to low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
The proposal was rushed through a special meeting at the Buffalo Common Council amid the complaints of a few residents opposed to the project because its rental not owner occupied units. That 60% of black males hired to work on the project and a company paid $100,000, to manage it was not enough to assuage the fears of worried residents.
Rev. Michael Chapman has the support of Mayor Byron Brown and City Office of strategic Planning and HUD for the project.
yet, one mile from this proposed 2, 3 and 4 room  rental units sits the Emerson Row Houses, another project of 16 rental units on Emerson Street off Michigan Avenue that has ruined this Cold Spring neighborhood.
The Queen Ann row houses originally 3 bedroom single-family units were rehab as one bedroom rentals up stairs and downstairs through a Restoration 78 project, has gradually dilapidated contributing to neighborhood decay.
This wouldn’t have happened if the units had been kept 3 bedrooms as originally constructed in the early 1900s.
Rev. Chapman should develop more units to provide fruit belt residents the opportunity to become home owners not renters. In this way the home owners would have more of a stake in their community and create a future generation to  become involved in what happens in the Medical Corridor area long after Rev. Chapman is gone.

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