Help is on the way for some Niagara Falls homeowners. Phase two of the South End Housing Initiative will take place May 16. Some 150 volunteers are expected to spend about four hours in the neighborhood helping homeowners make repairs. The area stretches from 4th to 7th Street from Pine to Walnut, Walnut to Ferry, and Ferry to Niagara Streets.
Mary Craft owns a home on Fifth Street. She takes pride in her property. She has since the day she bought it in 1989. And back then, she said her neighbors did, too. “It was a nice family oriented neighborhood. The old gentleman that lived on the corner…the kids called him grandpa Guss”.
Today though, Craft said her street is a different story. “Slowly the neighborhood's been changing.” Mary said most homes are now rental properties with landlords unwilling to invest. “This house will never sell for even the basic investments we've done with it.” That’s why she's grateful for initiative. Craft herself, is living with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
Mary already has big plans for the volunteers. She wants to have both her trim and fencing repainted. And she'd like to have them rehab the side area so that she can use it for a garden.
Patricia Wrobel is with Niagara University. She's leading the charge. “There's a need for new housing. And, we're hoping that by looking at this area, it'll attract millennials.” “it's nice. Just the thought of them coming is a happy thing,” Craft said.