Congressman Higgins calls for investigation into "unsafe conditions" at Buffalo Housing Units

Posted at 10:16 AM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 18:37:23-04

Congressman Brian Higgins says that he is asking the U.S. Department of Housing (HUD) to investigate the "disgusting and unsafe conditions" at Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) properties. 

In a letter to HUD, Congressman Higgins says that despite receiving substantial funds from the federal government and by the tenants who occupy the affordable housing units, BMHA continues to allow unsafe conditions to persist.

“Nobody should have to live like this,” Congressman Higgins said.  “Failing or barely passing grades on the living conditions seem to be the norm in several affordable housing complexes.  This must be addressed.  People deserve better.”

Higgins says he visited the affordable housing units located in the Perry neighborhood this weekend and took the above photos. 

The photos are of vacant BMHA Homes adjacent to the Commodore Perry Housing. Some of the pictures show trash outside of the homes. 

BMHA Interim-Executive Director, Gillian Brown said he had no idea the congressman even toured the property. He said Higgins didn’t reach out to him. Brown said the trash in the picture is a result of contractors illegally dumping in the Perry Community. However, he agrees there are some issues with public housing. 

“We are continuing to try to keep on top of it. It is a very big task,” Brown said. 

Langfield Homes on the Eastside of Buffalo was recently graded one of the worst public housing complexes in Buffalo. Tenants 7 Eyewitness News talked to complained about deep pot holes throughout the complex streets, broken windows, mold, and mildew. 

Brown said the authority is constantly slow to move its feet because of a lack of funding. However, Congressman Higgins said BMHA has a $45 million dollar annual budget, $23 million comes from HUD, while $10 million comes to the agency from tenants’ rent. 

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