BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Its been weeks since the City of Buffalo condemned an Elmwood Village apartment building.
Residents say they still need help finding a new place to stay.
Right now, housing advocates are focused on helping people who have Section 8 vouchers and live in Elmwood Heights.
Two weeks ago, Buffalo’s Housing Court Judge Patrick Carney gave the owner of Elmwood Heights until the end of the month to make repairs.
Here’s how Section 8 housing works — if a Section 8 housing unit is not repaired in a reasonable timeframe, depending on the severity of the repair, then the housing agency stops making payment to the landlord. Local housing advocates say this is already happening and could result in tenants being evicted.
“So in the meantime, tenants are faced with this decision of well do I leave now, do I keep my fingers crossed that I’ll land somewhere safe, that I don’t just end up on the street, or do I stay here, do I run the risk of getting evicted for non-payment, do I potentially face legal action by the landlord later on down the line for non-payment?” said Harper Arida, housing committee chair of Queen City Workers Center.
Some tenants with housing vouchers have been able to relocate, others remain there. The Elmwood Heights apartment building was condemned last month by the city for numerous unsafe living conditions. The city had requested an order for residents to vacate, but that was not granted by a judge.
The Elmwood Heights housing court case returns on April 28.
Belmont Housing Resources, the WNY Rental Assistance Corporation and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority are the local agencies that can administer Section 8 housing vouchers.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.