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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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WNY Women & Children Living in Poverty Fact Sheet

WNY Women's Foundation — Nov 27, 2017

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Employment Data for Buffalo

Allison Considine — Sep 1, 2014

The types of jobs available in Buffalo have changed post-recession, with midlevel skilled jobs disappearing and high and low skill jobs growing.  The loss of jobs in fields such as teaching, office administration, factory work and construction work during the recession is exacerbated by the fact that many midlevel jobs, such as manufacturing, are being automated or sent to cheaper markets.  Growth has occurred on the high and low skill ends of the spectrum, however, with increases in …

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Erie County Work Experience Program Partnerships with Non-Profits Offer Work Experience to Temporary Assistance to Needy Family Recipients

Gretchen Sullivan — May 1, 2012

TANF stands for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.  It is one of the United States federal assistance programs.  It began on July 1, 1997, and succeeded the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program.  It provides cash assistance to indigent American families with dependent children through the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

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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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Project Dandelion

Timothy Moriarty — Apr 1, 2012

Project Dandelion, a project of Neighborhood Legal Services, brings together community and legal support for families and individuals receiving public assistance, helping them to attain economic self-sufficiency through legal advocacy, training, peer group support, publications, volunteer opportunities, and legal information.

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The Buffalo Living Wage Ordinance

Joseph Guza — Apr 1, 2012

Buffalo’s Living Wage Ordinance (LWO) provides that certain workers must be paid a living wage.  The goal of the LWO is to make sure that employees working for the City of Buffalo and its contractors earn enough to keep their families out of poverty.  Buffalo’s LWO was passed unanimously in 1995 but was not implemented until 2002.  The LWO was amended in 2002 and 2007.

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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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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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Poverty and Casino Gambling in Buffalo

Sam Magavern, Elaina Mule — Jan 19, 2011

The Buffalo Creek Casino will exacerbate Buffalo’s poverty.  Casinos, especially urban casinos, attract many gamblers living at or near the poverty line, and problem or pathological gamblers often fall from the middle class into poverty.  Proximity to casinos is a major factor in problem gambling.  The Buffalo Creek Casino is located in a high-poverty zone.  Population’s already facing high poverty rates and inequalities, such as African Americans, have higher …

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Unionization of Low Wage Workers

Brian Hartmann — Apr 22, 2010

The unionization of workers, particularly those engaged in occupations which pay low wages, has often been criticized by business leaders as stifling economic development.  This brief explores unionization of low wage work in both national and local terms and discusses its effects on economic development and on the lives of workers.  It asserts that in spite of the recent decline in union participation, the organizing of low wage labor significantly increases workers’ quality of …

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An Educational Gift: Teacher Aides in New York State

Alexa Rissoff — Apr 20, 2010

Teacher Aides, also referred to as teacher assistants, instructional aides, paraprofessionals or paraeducators, generally provide non-instructional and clerical support for classroom teachers.  While this fact sheet focuses on teacher aides, it is important to briefly note the major differences between teacher aides and teaching assistants in New York.

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Dishwashers: Workers in a Low-Wage Occupation

Robert Strassel — Apr 20, 2010

There are no educational or licensing requirements to become a dishwasher.  Typically, dishwashers are trained on the job by experienced co-workers.  Some employers require employees to complete educational materials addressing issues including safety guidelines, equipment maintenance, and cleansing procedures.

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Landscapers and Grounds Keepers

Ryan Parisi — Apr 20, 2010

The tasks of a landscaper or groundskeeper in the Buffalo region vary by the time of year and even the day.  The jobs include mowing lawns, “edging” driveways and sidewalks, trimming bushes, trees and other vegetation, planting vegetation, removing old or dead vegetation, fall and spring “clean ups” which involve cleaning a property and preparing it for the next season, watering vegetation, maintaining overall appearance of property, mulching, weeding, and pruning …

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The Job of a UB Janitor

Michael Raleigh — Apr 20, 2010

It varies.  You can do carpet shampoo, floor work, taking care of trash, recycling, clean up spills of blood or chemicals, snow removal.  It depends on the building.  I work in some of the medical buildings where there are different labs and experiments.  Other people who work in residence halls do not deal with these different conditions.  Yeah, you bet it can be dangerous.  Some of the areas where people work have nuclear materials.  There is a nuclear …

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Working as an EMT

Robert Mietlicki — Apr 20, 2010

The work of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) is often the difference between life and death for a patient.  EMTs respond to various medical emergencies including car accidents, heart attacks, slips and falls of the elderly, childbirth, and gunshot wounds.  In responding to emergencies, EMTs assess a patient’s condition, determine pre-existing medical conditions, and provide emergency care while transporting patients to an emergency room.  EMTs often work with police …

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Exploring Low Wage Work in the Farming Industry

Stuart Frame — Apr 19, 2010

Farm work encompasses a variety of different jobs.  When I worked for a farmer and farm market owner in Rochester, my tasks ranged from picking corn and berries to sell in the market, hoeing weeds in the pumpkin patch, and irrigating and helping plow the fields and maintaining the orchards.  I very much enjoyed, as did my interview contact, certain aspects of farm work.  It is very fulfilling to spend the day working outside with one’s hands.  The variety of tasks that …

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Food Service Workers in Buffalo Public Schools

Rachel Jones — Apr 19, 2010

Generally, employees are expected to assist the cook in the preparation and serving of the food. These workers are also required to clean all areas, as well as dishes and cooking utensils.  They must maintain clean spaces in the kitchen and in the rest rooms.  The food service worker could also be required to serve as a cashier or checker.  There are other possible employment conditions.

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Food Service Workers in Restaurants: Short Order Cooks, First-Line Supervisors, and Managers

Lisa Diaz-Ordaz — Apr 19, 2010

Short order cooks are restaurant workers who prepare food as it is ordered by customers.  First-line supervisors also have to prepare food, but at the same time they must supervise the other workers who are cooking and preparing food.  In contrast, food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of a restaurant including all administrative and human resource functions of the restaurant.  In Erie County in 2008, the average weekly wage for a cook at a limited …

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Home Health Aides

Chenoa Maye — Apr 19, 2010

Home health aides typically work for certified home health or hospice agencies that receive government funding and therefore must comply with extensive regulations.  This means that home health aides must work under the direct supervision of a medical professional, usually a nurse.  The aides keep records of services performed and of clients' condition and progress.  They report changes in the client's condition to the supervisor or case manager.  Aides also work with …

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Retail Sales: Selling to make a Living

Neil Diegelman — Apr 19, 2010

Interview with retail salesperson conducted March 16, 2010.  James Silver is a 28-year old white male working at Sears.  His work week consists of between 35 and 40 hours, and he has been employed with Sears for over five years.  James has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo.

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Sanitation Workers in the City of Buffalo

Dannine Consoli — Apr 19, 2010

Sanitation workers, also referred to as refuse collectors, collect trash from homes and businesses.  They either lift the garbage cans themselves or use a hydraulic lift for dumpsters.  The work is physically demanding and repetitive.  Sometimes they have to lift large heavy objects, such as furniture or large kitchen appliances.  They normally work an 8 hour shift that often begins between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. They usually work regardless of the weather.

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School Bus Monitors in Western New York

Brian Hartmann — Apr 19, 2010

The New York State Department of Education defines a “bus monitor” (also commonly referred to as a “bus aide”) as any person employed for the purpose of assisting children to safely embark and disembark from a school bus which is owned, leased or contracted for by a public school district or board of cooperative educational services, and for the purpose of assisting the school bus driver with maintaining proper student behavior on such school bus.

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Working as a Security Guard in Western New York

Owen Field — Apr 19, 2010

Being a security guard is something to be proud of.  A security guard protects people, and the job can be challenging and even dangerous.  Guards have to be licensed, and there are certain safety measures and skills that they have to learn.  Security guards can save lives, stop terrorism, and make entire neighborhoods feel more comfortable.  Under the right circumstances, security can make a good career. There can be opportunities for increased rankings and advancements, and …

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Working as a Receptionist

Kasia McDonald — Mar 25, 2010

According to the New York Department of Labor, the job prospects for receptionists from 2006-2016 are very favorable.  Currently, the median wage for receptionists in western New York is $24,500, with, on an annual basis, 170 new openings and a projected 6% annual job growth.  In 2006, there were 5,670 employed as a receptionist in this region; in 2016, there are expected to be 6,010.  Nationally, receptionist held 1.1 million jobs in 2008, with the largest numbers working in …

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Childcare Workers

Leah Hardy — Apr 19, 2009

Childcare workers monitor infants and children to ensure their well-being and safety.  They provide primary care for infants (change diapers, prepare bottles, put them down for naps, etc.) and provide activities to keep older children occupied and help them to “develop self-esteem, curiosity, imagination, physical skills, and speech.”

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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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Economic Inequality in New York State

Amy Kaslovsky — Nov 19, 2008

New York State was the state with the greatest income disparity between the rich and poor in the mid-2000s.  At that time incomes in the bottom fifth of the population were 8.7 times lower than those in the top fifth.  In New York City this gap was even wider.  In the mid-2000s the City’s top income quintile had an average income 9.5 times higher than the average income of the bottom quintile.  Overall income in New York State grew between the 1980s and the mid-2000s …

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Predatory Business Practices: Automobile Financing

Rachel Jones — Nov 12, 2008

Poverty is an ever-growing problem affecting much of the country.  People fall into financial holes and certain industries make sure that they stay there.  Low-income individuals are targets for businesses that make their money by providing needed benefits now with an exorbitant cost later.  Jacob S. Hacker, a political scientist at Yale, has said that low-income people are forced to live beyond their means by businesses that target them.  According to a series in The …

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