NYS Attorney General announces $2.7 million grant for housing programs

Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — New York State Attorney General Letitia James came to Niagara Falls on Friday to announce $2.7 million in grants for western New York.

The money will be used for implementing new strategic housing programs in Buffalo, Rochester and Niagara Falls. It’s part of the Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement (Cities RISE) program.

“In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis, families throughout Western New York are continuing the struggle of finding and maintaining quality affordable housing options,” James said. “Cities RISE is an important program that allows cities across New York to better address code enforcement policies in an effort to meet the unique needs of their communities. Using the funds secured from settlements with banks, my office will continue to work with municipalities to combat New York’s ongoing housing crisis.”

What the program allows cities to do is launch innovative programs related to housing and strategic code enforcement.

Niagara Falls will receive $882,625 to help homeowners stuck in housing court due to finances, create a call-in center, which will streamline code enforcement response, and create a ticketing system to link code violators with other forms the government services.

“The City of Niagara Falls is proud to be selected for phase three of the New York State Attorney General’s office Cities RISE program,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Robert M. Restaino. “The funding provided will greatly assist our city in accomplishing the goals of the Attorney General for cities across New York State. On behalf of the City of Niagara Falls, I would like to thank New York State Attorney General Letitia James for her commitment to assisting improvement of communities across the State.”

The $953,983 that Buffalo will receive will be used primarily toward pioneering an approach to differentiating responses to property owner-occupants who lack the means to care for their homes from landlords who are unwilling to fix the properties. The money will also capitalize a loan fund for low-income property owners.

“The City of Buffalo is proud of our partnership with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Enterprise and other stakeholders who helped us secure almost $1 million in funding that will provide the resources necessary to transform our code enforcement efforts into a proactive system that improves the quality of housing and neighborhoods for low-income residents across the City,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “The commitment of New York State Attorney General James in utilizing settlement funding to address our most important housing needs will provide vital resources to ensure that all of our residents have access to safe and healthy homes.”

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