© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WBFO brings you NPR's live coverage of the Republican National Convention tonight and tomorrow night from 9pm-11pm.

Housing Authority drawing heat over conditions at Frederick Douglass


Common Council members were provided a disturbing story Tuesday of why so many people in the BMHA's Frederick Douglass town houses have been losing heat and hot water this freezing winter.

The aging heating systems in some of the housing units were failing. While the problem was simple, the solution is muddled.

"Our hands were tied," explained Lisa Walker, Executive Vice President for Shinda Property Management. Though Shinda operates the complex, it remains the property of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.

The authority rejected a request to replace the heaters since they were already planning replacements later this year, according to the BMHA's Assistant Executive Director Modesto Candelario.

That didn't sit well with some Council members.

"Modesto, I have much respect for you, a nice guy. But some of your comments to me incensed me," said Council member Rasheed Wyatt.

"I think that you don't understand because understanding would have been that woman having a heating problem and whatever it costs to fix it, to fix it."

Members also demanded authority Executive Director Dawn Sanders-Garrett show up for the committee meeting in two weeks to talk about Frederick Douglass.

"This should never happen in 2018 in the United States of America. People without money deserve quick turnover and changes," said Council President Darius Pridgen.

"The conclusion will happen over the next two months when the temperature is 12 degrees and the temperature is 10 degrees and people need to wash their hands and people need to take a bath."


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.