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Religious Group Develops Eight New Homes for Low-Income Families

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The city has teamed with an inner-city religious organization to revitalize one Buffalo neighborhood. Eight new homes are under construction in the Cold Springs district.

The air was frigid, but the mood outside was warm as city and community leaders gathered for a ribbon cutting of one of the homes on Elise Place. The street is not far from Jefferson Avenue. The effort is part of the Mayor's "Livable Homes Initiative." Ben Upshaw is executive director of Bethel Community Development Corporation. Bethel is the developer of the new homes.

Mayor Masiello says by partnering with Bethel, the city is able to transform a run-down neighborhood into new residential living. But the Mayor says the other nearby entities must remain strong for the program to work.

"We can't rest on our laurels," Masiello said. "While we're building new homes here, we have to do more demolitions. While we're building new homes, we have to make sure Tops, the Apollo and Canisius College remain strong. We need to make sure that all the other amenities that make up the quality of life in this neighborhood remain intact and are improved upon."

Lavonne Trellis is the new home owner of the two-story colonial. Trellis says learning she was eligible to by the home was a great Christmas gift. She says revitalization efforts are a step in the right direction.

Trellis says she currently lives around the corner, and wanted to stay in the neighborhood. Families earning just over $23,000 a year are eligible to buy the homes.