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Community members react to Gov. Hochul’s $50 million investment to East Buffalo

“Even though we have this great opportunity we have to expand upon it and look forward to it being built on every year.”
Posted at 10:01 PM, Jun 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-19 22:01:22-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Several people living in East Buffalo are responding passionately about Gov. Kathy Hochul’s $50 million investment for residents living in East Buffalo.

Some say it’s long overdue since their community has been forgotten for decades.

“We have a lot of small businesses that aren’t housed like myself,” says Kareema Morris, founder of Bury the Violence. “It’s hard to find where to rent, and some of the places are not feasible to bring kids into, so to me, you need sustainable housing businesses and to uplift the buildings that are already here.”

A Buffalo native, Karla Massey, tells 7 News she thinks the area she once resided in needs more jobs.

“They need sustainable jobs which people can have easy access to they don’t necessarily need their vehicles to get to these outside areas so jobs I think are a great investment,” she says.

Both say more people should be heard on what their needs are.

“They still need services that are more intense. The shuttle is great, but how many people are going to leave their house to get on the shuttle?” says Morris. “They probably need people canvassing going door to door to find out the actually needs from the community directly.”

Massey says the $50 million is a start, but it should take more than that.

It’s going to take more than responding to trauma that’s going to be needed to rebuild the area,” the Buffalo native says.

Gov. Hochul says she plans on giving first-time homeowners a jump start of thousands of dollars in that area as part of the $50 million.

“150 first-time homeowners with access to downpayments an average of thirty thousand dollars $4.5 million to help these individuals be part of a program,” Hochul says. “Get them jump-started and allow them to get homeownership.”

But others like Kareema Morris hope these investments from the state aren’t a one-time deal.

“Even though we have this great opportunity, we have to expand upon it and look forward to it being built on every year,” Morris says.

Other people living in East Buffalo hope part of the $50 million investment will also help the upcoming generation of children.