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New life breathed into former East Side hub

Chris Caya/WBFO News

More affordable housing is coming to Buffalo's East Side thanks to some help from Washington. The Federal Home Loan Bank is providing a $300,000 grant for Bellamy Commons on Jefferson Avenue near East Ferry Street. The $7 million project involves converting a vacant former community center. It includes 30 affordable apartments, new offices for the NAACP and a Black Achievers Museum that tells success stories of local African Americans.

"This building was once one of the more vibrant centers of activity in this community," Mayor Byron Brown said Monday. "It will become one of the most vibrant centers of the community again with this new life."

Brown says the project could help spur other redevelopment nearby. He says low-income affordable housing is critically important because there are a large number of seniors and veterans in the community.

"It'll inject new viability. [There will be] an economic benefit, but also a life quality benefit, as well," said Rep. Brian Higgins.

Bellamy Commons is expected to open in about a year.