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Photobank: Housing and Neighborhoods - West Side Community Services

Buffalo Commons Photobank — Jan 13, 2020

Guidelines for using photos from the Buffalo Commons Photobank The Buffalo Commons Photobank is an issue-based Photobank for use by our partners and the general public. The purpose of making these photos publically available is to enhance the work of the social sector in Buffalo-Niagara. We believe that our partners’ work will be more effective when it features high-quality and artistic images for any number of occasions: an event, a fundraiser, a report, etc.  

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Poverty and Disparities in Niagara County

Anna Blatto — Nov 13, 2019

This Buffalo Brief provides an overview of the geography and statistics around poverty in Niagara County. 

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The Eastside-Airport Metro Rail Extension

Citizens for Regional Transit — Aug 23, 2019

This policy brief provides information regarding the expansion of NFTA metro-rail services in east-side Buffalo to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. 

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Are We Still Going Through the Empty Ritual of Participation? Inner-City Residents’ and Other Grassroots Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Public Input and Neighborhood Revitalization

Li Yin, Camden Miller, Pascal Buggs, Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., Robert Silverman — Jul 19, 2019

This article revisits Arnstein’s “ladder of citizen participation” focusing on inner-city residents’ perceptions of public input in neighborhood revitalization projects. It draws from data collected in Buffalo, New York for a larger project that aimed to address negative externalities caused by neighborhood change. Data were collected using focus groups in neighborhoods in the early stages of revitalization. Nine focus groups took place across three neighborhoods …

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There Goes Our Family Friendly Neighborhood: Residents’ Perceptions of Institutionally Driven Inner-City Revitalization in Buffalo, NY

Li Yin, Camden Miller, Pascal Buggs, Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., Robert Silverman — Jul 19, 2019

This article examines residents’ perceptions of inner-city revitalization in legacy cities. The analysis focuses on neighborhoods undergoing revitalization in a legacy city, Buffalo, NY. The article draws from data for a larger research project called Turning the Corner which was sponsored by the Urban Institute. The focus of that project was to identify planning strategies to address negative externalities caused by neighborhood change and heightened risks of displacement due to …

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The Geography of Poverty in Erie and Niagara Counties

Eli J. Levine — Nov 20, 2018

This Buffalo Brief provides visuals of the locations and rates of poverty in Erie and Niagara counties. 

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Rental Housing Costs in Buffalo

Sarah Wooton — Oct 15, 2018

With the renewed popularity of urban living, along with substantial public and private investment in the city, the value of property throughout Buffalo is on the rise. Certain neighborhoods, including Downtown, Allentown, Hertel/Parkside and areas on the West and East sides, are becoming hot markets – with many homes worth double or triple what owners paid for them. As property values rise in cities, rents do too.

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Racial Disparities and Homelessness in Western New York

Homeless Alliance of Western New York — Oct 12, 2018

In this data analysis, Western New York is defined as Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans County because these are areas the Homeless Alliance of WNY coordinate services with and administer the data for. The Homeless Alliance of Western New York analyzed racial disparities among homelessness within Western New York and examined the homeless system’s equity serving different racial/ethnic groups in terms of receiving those services, prioritizing those services, and housing success …

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Voices for 2020: Ending Family Homelessness Summary Report

Homeless Alliance of Western New York, Diane Bessell — Oct 12, 2018

Voices for 2020 was undertaken at the request of the Homeless Alliance of Western New York with the expressed goal of developing a clearer picture of the physical, psychological, social, and resource needs of homeless families living in Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties. The project was developed in direct response to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness’s call to develop coordinated community responses to end homelessness among families with children …

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Voices for 2020: Strategies to Address Family Homelessness in WNY

Homeless Alliance of Western New York, Diane Bessell — Oct 12, 2018

Ending family homelessness will require a wide variety of community-based strategies to ensure that every member of each family experiencing homelessness is offered the services and supports they need to thrive. Following engagement with homeless families and health and human service providers; a review of the research literature and best practices in addressing the needs of homeless families; and completion of a local environmental scan, several strategies were identified for local action to …

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Employment Data for Buffalo-Niagara

Partnership for the Public Good — Jul 11, 2018

Unemployment in Buffalo and the surrounding region shot upward in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but declined in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2017, unemployment rose in the city and region while falling in the state and nation. 

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Poverty in Buffalo: Causes, Impacts, Solutions

Sam Magavern, Alyssa Bergsten, David Clayton, Chad Davenport, Orlando Dickson, Melissa Kathan, Hayley Ross — Apr 10, 2018

Poverty in Buffalo-Niagara is concentrated in urban areas. It is segregated and racialized. One major cause of poverty is jobs that do not pay enough. Other major causes include disability, unaffordable housing, and lack of public transit access to quality jobs. Fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr. launched the Poor People’s Campaign, the nation’s commitment to reducing poverty has rarely been weaker, and millions of people are suffering as a result. Poverty is not natural or …

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Renewing Our Pledge: A Path to Ending Lead Poisoning of Buffalo's Most Vulnerable Citizens

Kent Gardner — Mar 29, 2018

This report provides a comprehensive assessment of lead poisoning data for community stakeholders, decision makers, and funders. The assessment was advised by the WNY Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning and informed by key staff from the City of Buffalo Department of Permits and Inspections and Corporation Counsel, the Erie County Department of Health, and interviews conducted with officials, tenants, landlords, homeowners, nonprofit staff, community leaders, and other stakeholders in Erie …

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Poverty in Buffalo-Niagara

Partnership for the Public Good — Feb 28, 2018

Poverty in Buffalo-Niagara is concentrated in urban areas. It is segregated and racialized. Poverty rates are higher among city-dwellers and people of color. But the number of whites living in poverty is higher than the number of people of color, and the number of people in poverty outside the cities is about equal to the number inside the cities. One major cause of poverty is jobs that do not pay enough. Other major causes include disability, unaffordable …

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The Consequences of Being Unbanked in Buffalo

Jessica Gilbert — Feb 28, 2018

This policy brief was drafted by Jessica Gilbert, a research associate at the Partnership for the Public Good and a Ph.D. student in geography at the University at Buffalo. It offers national and local information about people who lack bank accounts and describes some of the impacts of being “unbanked,” including reliance on exploitative services such as check cashing, rent to own stores, and pawn shops. This research supports the work of the Buffalo Niagara Community Reinvestment …

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Urban Design Project

Department of Labor Dec 31, 2017

The UB Regional Institute and Urban Design Project have officially merged under the UB Regional Institute name. Our long established history in the region and track record of success in public policy and urban planning/design, our professional staff, affiliated faculty and graduate students, our position as the research enterprise of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and our strong connection to the University at large, are our greatest assets. This is what sets us …

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A Profile of Financial Hardship in Erie County

United Way of Buffalo and Erie County — Nov 27, 2017

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WNY Women & Children Living in Poverty Fact Sheet

WNY Women's Foundation — Nov 27, 2017

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Breaking Down Misconceptions About Poverty

Sam Magavern — Feb 1, 2017

What does an average poor family look like? The image that you just had in mind wasn't the one.  The reality is really different.

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Energy Poverty in Buffalo's West Side: PUSH, National Fuel, and the Fight for Equitable Energy Access

Anthony Hilbert — Jun 16, 2016

Energy poverty, the condition of households that cannot adequately heat their homes, is a chronic problem resulting from low income, high fuel prices, and poorly insulated, energy inefficient houses.  In addition to financial strain, energy poverty causes severe social and health problems for people living in under-heated homes (Boardman 1991; 2013).  Despite its seriousness and pervasiveness, energy poverty has been ignored too often in the US.  Those that suffer through energy …

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One Region Forward A New Way To Plan For Buffalo Niagara

University at Buffalo Regional Institute — Jul 20, 2015

This document represents the culmination of three years of research, community engagement, partnership building and planning under the banner of One Region Forward. Within the pages of this plan, you will find the major research findings of what the data tells us about where the region is today and expressions of thousands of citizen voices on the direction people in the region want to see Buffalo Niagara go. Proposed strategies and actions, built by a team of 100+ subject matter experts, are …

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Initiatives for a Stronger Community

Mark Poloncarz — Mar 31, 2015

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Buffalo Poverty Research Workshop

Mark Poloncarz — Mar 28, 2014

While Erie County’s unemployment rate and levels of poverty are better than the state and national averages, not everyone is benefitting from our resurgent economy.  In fact, many at the lowest rung of the economic ladder are being left behind, and income inequality is now putting at risk the middle class.  Poverty plays a profound role in the educational challenges in a city where nearly one in two students does not graduate high school on time.  Poverty also contributes …

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Creating Assets, Savings & Hope Buffalo

Rachel Swyers — Apr 1, 2012

Created in 2004, Creating Assets, Saving & Hope (CASH) Buffalo works to increase the financial stability of low-to-moderate income families in Buffalo and Erie County.  CASH’s mission is to increase the financial stability of low-income families by increasing access to tax credits, refunds, and needed income supports; improving financial literacy, and providing opportunities for homeownership, education, or other types of asset building.

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Geographies of Poverty: Buffalo-Niagara Metropolitan Area

Christopher Szczygiel — Mar 16, 2012

The local economy is often discussed in terms of the Buffalo-Niagara Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a multi-county area with a population of over one million.  While it is useful to take a regional perspective, it is also useful to consider individual cities, towns or villages.  The economic picture in the city of Buffalo (population 266,012) is so quite different than that of the town of Holland (population 3,430).  The poverty rates in the cities of Buffalo (29.6%) and …

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The Geography of Poverty: City of Buffalo

Robert Grimaldi — Mar 16, 2012

Between 2000 and 2010, several census tracts on the East and West Sides fell deeper into poverty.  Broadway-Fillmore’s poverty rate rose from 45.9% to 51.9%, the Niagara Street neighborhood immediately west of Downtown rose from 45.6% to 62.5%, and two tracts in Black Rock rose from 39.2% and 36.3% to 46.0%.  Also, several North Buffalo neighborhoods experienced significant drops in poverty rates, including Parkside falling from 28.2% to 15.8%, Central Park falling from 16.0% to …

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State Funding for the NFTA Reduces Pollution, Fights Poverty, and Promotes Economic Development

Robert Grimaldi Feb 7, 2012

New York State should support public transit in Buffalo-Niagara by increasing Transit Operating Assistance and increasing the NFTA’s allocation of low-cost electric power.  There is no more effective tool for reducing pollution, cutting poverty, and promoting economic development than affordable and comprehensive mass transit.  In recent years, New York State has been cutting its funding to the NFTA, even as the NFTA’s costs have been rising.  State funding has been …

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Buffalo, Amherst, and Erie County: Worlds Apart

Jonathan Baird Aug 31, 2011

Examines demographic, population, and economic markers between Buffalo, Amherst, and Erie County.

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Geovisualizing Childrens transport exclusion: Childrens Afterschool Activity Opportunities in the Buffalo Metropolitan Area

Jin-Kyu Jung — Jul 26, 2011

This research investigates current and potentially desired opportunities available for children’s afterschool activities in the U.S. Buffalo metropolitan area. By analyzing and geographically visualizing travel paths, excluded children’s activity space, and existing activity opportunities in the 3D view using GIS, the study looks at how children’s activity opportunities are limited by any socio-spatial factors such as racial distribution,median income, current …

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Unemployment and Poverty in Western New York

Owen Field — Apr 29, 2010

It is a common understanding that a high unemployment rate means that more people are out of work and therefore more people have fallen into poverty.  But the relationship between unemployment and poverty is complex, and the two may not always relate very directly.  It is necessary to examine states, counties, and even cities separately to determine the extent of this relationship and the possibilities of other influential factors.

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Who is Living in Poverty and Why?

Sam Magavern — Apr 29, 2010

In thinking about poverty, it is common to focus on those places and populations where the poverty rate is the highest, where poverty is the most concentrated and visible.  Thus, many associate poverty with inner city residents, people of color, high school drop-outs, never-married mothers, and people without jobs – all of whom suffer from disproportionately high rates of poverty.  There are both good and bad reasons to focus attention on these groups, but it is important to …

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Individuals Below the Poverty Level

Sam Magavern, Partnership for the Public Good Dec 31, 2009

Census Tracts in the City of Buffalo.

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Buffalo Poverty Reduction Blueprint

Donna Brown — Apr 29, 2009

High levels of poverty in the City of Buffalo continue to persist despite significant economic development in the last several years.  With recent data by the U.S. Census Bureau listing Buffalo as the third poorest city in the nation, it is imperative that a comprehensive and strategic approach be put into place to address this situation.  This report is designed to be a blueprint for strategic planning and action to reduce the level of poverty in Buffalo and assure that all of …

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Informal Economies

Chris Berardi — Nov 20, 2008

The informal economy comprises the parts of the economy that are not regulated.  These parts include illicit activity like the sale of drugs, architects doing work under the table, hairdressers who operate in cash and don’t report their income, businesses employing illegal workers, and businesses operating without government required licenses.  Informal economic actors are often self-employed, or are employed elsewhere and operating an informal business on the side as a means …

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The Geography of Urban Poverty

Wende A. Mix — Jan 1, 2008

The Census Bureau reports poverty statistics annually based on American Community Survey (ACS) data.  For the past two years this has included listing the ten places with the highest poverty rates and the ten with the lowest poverty rates.  This study considers the interpretation of these statistics when different geographies form the analytical framework.  As expected, interpretation of these statistics is influenced by the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) in geography.

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An Integrated Approach to Fighting Blight and Poverty in Buffalo's Low-Income Neighborhoods

Partnership for the Public Good — Dec 31, 2007

Recently released Census data confirms the City of Buffalo is now among the very poorest and most blighted large cities in the United States.  The report pegs Buffalo’s poverty rate at 29.9%, ranking second behind only Detroit.  This news was released within days of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s announcement of his “5 in 5” Demolition Plan.  This plan sets a goal of demolishing 5,000 houses in five years, on the road to stabilizing Buffalo’s vacancy …

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Poverty and Buffalo: Beyond the Headlines

Wende A. Mix — Dec 31, 2007

On August 28, 2007 the U.S. Census Bureau released statistics on poverty and earnings in the United States.  These statistics were based on results from the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) which is an ongoing (continuous measurement) survey conducted by the Bureau.  The Buffalo News published a front page story on August 30, 2007 with the following headline “Buffalo falls to second-poorest big city in U.S., with a poverty rate of nearly 30 percent”.  The Census …

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Poverty: A State of Extremes

The League of Women Voters of Buffalo/Niagara Oct 1, 2006

New York was the only state where both poverty and income exceeded national levels in 2005, with 13.8% of residents living in poverty and a median household income of $49,480.  This high poverty/high income paradox underscores a widening ‘wealth gap’ observed in New York and nationwide.  Buffalo Niagara differed from the state in 2005, with a poverty rate (12.7%) close to the U.S. average and a median household income that was $4,000 below the U.S. median.  Within the …

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The High Cost of Being Poor

Rod Watson, Jonathan Epstein, Brian Meyer — Jun 21, 2006

A FOUR-PART SERIES REPRINTED FROM JUNE 18-21, 2006.  In November 2005, about half-a-dozen Buffalo News reporters and editors sat in a circle and began brainstorming story ideas. As part of a two-day training session conducted by the Committee of Concerned Journalists, the News staffers were looking for story ideas that would be worth an extended investment of time and resources. Jonathan Epstein, a News financial reporter who specializes in banking and insurance issues, suggested it might …

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Losing Ground: Income and Poverty in Upstate New York, 1980-2000

Rolf Pendall, Susan Christopherson — Sep 1, 2004

Over the past several decades, Upstate New York has transitioned from a stable middle-income region to one with serious income and economic problems.  In 1969, per capita personal income (PCPI) in Upstate exceeded that of the United States, but by 2000, it trailed the national average by 11 percent.  These lagging incomes likely contribute to the substantial out-migration of mobile residents from the area—especially in the mid-1990s—which in turn is threatening economic …

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