BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Many residents in an apartment building in the Elmwood Village that’s been condemned by the City of Buffalo are concerned about where they’ll live next.
The city is now looking to have residents vacate the property because of unsafe living conditions and they’re Calling 4 Action.
News 4 has been looking at the resources that are available for people at Elmwood Heights.
Many residents are already looking for another place to live, just in case they’re forced out.
“Next step is either to find something or go back homeless,” said Honeycutt Shannon, a tenant at Elmwood Heights. He has concerns, he’ll wind up back on the streets, if the city gets its way and is granted an order for residents to vacate Elmwood Heights.
“Now, we’re all running with chickens with our head cut off because we don’t know what to do where to go who to talk to,” Shannon said.
For those concerned on where they’ll turn to next, the Mayor’s Office says that people with housing vouchers should contact their case manager. People without housing vouchers are being told to contact 211 Western New York, which is open 24-7.
“Their best option would be to call us talk to one of our staff members and discuss what their options would be and how the process looks so what they can expect, what kind of paperwork they would need to have with them,” said Dawn Vanderkooi, the director of 211 WNY.
Tenants who call 211 could be placed in temporary housing or perhaps a shelter. They could also be referred to the city’s Call and Resolution Center and the Rapid Rehousing Program.
“We would ask them some questions to find out what their income looks like if they can pay their rent going forward there are some housing assistance program in the community that may be able to connect them to the available housing resources,” Vanderkooi said.
There are nearly 50 apartments in Elmwood Heights. After condemning the building last week, the city is moving quickly in its effort to get residents to vacate. A hearing in housing court has been set for Friday morning. Tenants here say they feel left out.
“They’re really not telling us anything, they’re just saying that the building is being condemned, the landlord he’s not owning up to responsibility of being a landlord,” Shannon said.
As for the affordable housing market locally, it can be a challenge to find housing. Residents in need of affordable housing are also encouraged to go to 158 Pearl St. and speak to someone in Erie County’s Department of Social Services.
Ransomville Manor, an assisted living facility in Niagara County, has met with tenants to see if they’re interested in relocating there and if they qualify.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.