Is there an affordable housing shortage in WNY?

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 17:59:19-05

Once home to more than 400 affordable housing units, the remaining buildings in Buffalo's Shoreline apartment complex are set to be demolished, turned into a newly constructed affordable housing complex.

Despite the new construction, local activists are upset about the project, saying the fact there's only 200 new units to replace the over 400 units that currently exist will contribute to what they say is the lack of affordable housing in Western New York.

"It was already hard to find good housing that was affordable."  Says Buffalo Resident MindyJo Rosso.  "It's going to get even worse now."

A HUD database shows 7,251 affordable units at 105 mulit-family properties in Erie County allow those in need of assistance to use HUD benefits, but several of those properties have waiting lists which activists say left Shoreline residents scrambling to find new housing when they left.

The Shoreline complex is currently empty, with the exception of one man who refuses to leave.  John Schmidt has lived at the complex for nearly a decade and is currently appealing his eviction.  He says that he doesn't plan on leaving any time soon.

"If the appeal fails, if all else fails.... I will wait for the marshals.  I'm not cutting any deals, I'm not gonna back down."