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More funding available for downtown housing projects

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The effort to build more housing in downtown Buffalo is getting another boost. The Buffalo Urban Development Corporation has received a second round of funding to help small and mid-sized developers working on adaptive reuse projects. The loan program was developed by the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership. Partnership President and CEO Dottie Gallagher Cohen says there is a waiting of list of people who want to live downtown.

"A lot of these buildings don't make the cut because they are just so old and so dilapidated that the numbers don't work without this revolving loan fund that we've put together. It's a perfect example of a public-private partnership," Cohen said Friday.

The Buffalo Building Reuse Project provides gap financing of up to $750,000.

"The process is an RFP process. Our selection committee is really looking for creative sues of projects that incorporate residential or commercial or just add to the overall vibrancy of downtown," Buffalo Urban Development Corporation's Brandye Merriweather said.

The loan program supports Mayor Byron Brown's goal of creating 1,300 new housing units downtown by 2018.