BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – When a Buffalo woman called News 4 looking for help with several structural issues with her home, we started making some calls. We learned this woman had been waiting months for assistance from the City of Buffalo and the State of New York.
“When it rains, this bucket catches some. Those buckets around there catch, but I have towels on the floor because of the floor will be all wet,” said Susan Moore of Buffalo regarding her home.
When it rains, the floodgates open in Moore’s home.
There’s mold in the bathroom, her ceiling is caving in and her front porch is crumbling. After having numerous back surgeries, it can tough for her to get around.
“You just kind of feel like I’m left out there and they don’t really care about what’s going on,” Moore said.
She’s applied to two home repair programs — one with the city, the other is called the Buffalo East Home Improvement program, also known as BEHIP. The state put $10 million into the program after the Tops mass shooting, to help address inequities on the East Side, but it took months for the program to get off the ground.
There are several non-profits that administer BEHIP. Moore went to Heart of the City — other organizations include PUSH Buffalo, Broadway Fillmore and NeighborWorks Community Partners.
Challenges with BEHIP include a lack of contractors who are willing to do the work and long wait lists.
“There’s a lot of unmet need in that community that goes back decades or generations so it makes sense there’s still going to be calls for it,” said Jerome Nagy, the CEO of NeighborWorks Community Partners, “From our perspective, it’s moving as quickly as it could the rehab programs are the hardest, I know on TV they fit in those a 30 minute show or an hour show.”
Early this year, Susan applied for help at City Hall with the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency. That led to a detailed analysis of her home, the repairs that can be made and at what cost.
“You call to see what the status is and they don’t call you back, you leave messages, what’s going on they don’t call you back,” Moore said.
We looked into her application and within days learned from Belmont Housing Resources the delay in getting to Moore’s application had to do with additional analysis that needed to be done on her home and that repair work to fix her roof, stairs and a hallway at a cost of $97,000 will begin later this month.
“I credit it to you because you made some phone calls, because nothing else has worked. Nothing else has worked, so I do credit to you and Channel 4, because you made some phone calls,” Moore said, “It is a great early Christmas present, it would definitely be.”
Belmont Housing says even in the month of December, repair work can begin at Susan’s home, but they will have to watch for rain and snow, which could slow things down. As far the repair work getting underway at Susan’s house, we’ve been assured it will start within the next few weeks, ending months of waiting.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.