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Fruit Belt celebrates 99 years, residents unify against gentrification

Residents of Buffalo's Fruit Belt celebrated 99 years of history Saturday. But they also used the occasion to express their concerns about the neighborhood's future.

The Fruit Belt is adjacent to the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Annette Lott has lived there for 60 years. She said gentrification is a real issue with home and rental costs already rising.

"Right now, we have places here where rents have increased to $1,500 per month," Lott said. "We can see it won't be very long before all residents will be moved out as property values go up along with the taxes."

A new group has been formed called the Fruit Belt Community Land Trust. The group will empower residents to fight back in hopes of keeping their homes as property values rise.