Buffalo community leader wants BMHA to hire its residents not outside contractors

Posted at 5:54 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 17:54:10-05

“This is the way to get us out of poverty."

Renato Graham is the chairman of the Resident Advisory Board to the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. He is the representative of all the people who live in BMHA housing.

He wants the BMHA to hire its residents to do work around its developments rather than BMHA hiring outside contractors.

"Snow removal. Grass cutting. There's so many different things residents within BMHA can do without contracting out," Graham said.

Since anyone can cut grass and shovel snow, Graham thinks this is a no brainer idea.

He also said this is the key to helping BMHA residents to becoming self sufficient and taking a sense of ownership within their community.

"There is a provision in there that residents can be partners with the developers. They will own the property. Now we have more responsibility. You own something you take care of it. We can become self sufficient that way."

QueeNia AsheeMa’at is a BMHA resident. She said it's an obvious move for the housing authority to do since it knows first hand how badly some residents need jobs.

"We're right here, and you know we need jobs. You do a financial statement on us annually. you know which ones aren't making enough money," AsheeMa'at said.

Graham also says BMHA building are full of locked and vacant rooms that he said would be perfect for business incubators.

"How to develop business. THe types of businesses. Starting businesses," Graham said.

7 Eyewitness News reached out to te BMHA for comment, but it hasn't responded to us yet.


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