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PUSH Buffalo awarded $3.5 million for West Side housing project

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The sustainable-housing organization PUSH Buffalo has been awarded more than $3.5 million from New York State to continue their work on Buffalo's West Side.  The money will be used to continue transforming housing stock along what's known as the Massachusetts Avenue Green Corridor with the construction and rehabilitation of 46 rental units.

PUSH's Aaron Bartley says the group focuses on providing quality housing to low-income residents of the growing neighborhood.  

"This will be preserved as affordable, green housing. We have a big emphasis on making them sustainable in the sense of making sure utility bills are not high, insulating them well, [and installing] high-efficiency furnaces. The folks living in the neighborhood can't afford $400 gas bills," Bartley said.

The state loans and tax credits will help fund the Mass Ave Community Homes project, which includes the construction of 28 rental units and the rehabilitation of 18 other units in 16 buildings along the corridor.

Aaron Bartley says previously vacant homes are being transformed into quality, affordable housing that fit the neighborhood.  

"One of the things we're proud of with this project is that rather than putting this money in a big housing project tower, we're really respecting the historic fabric of the neighborhood, which is built on doubles and triples and the classic Buffalo neighborhood, and investing in those kinds of homes," he said.

Details of the funding were unveiled at 135 Chenango Street, one of the parcels that's being renovated.  Assemblyman Sean Ryan, who attended the announcement, says the investment in the city's West Side will pay dividends "long into the future."

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