Pastor has 'shovel-ready' affordable housing plan for east side

Posted at 11:33 PM, Mar 08, 2018

Pastor Dwayne Jones is calling his proposed affordable housing development a 'win-win' for Buffalo's east side.

"We're making a village for the people. Clean, affordable, safe housing in the inner city," Rev. Jones said.

The 66-unit apartment and townhouse complex would be built on a currently-vacant plot of land at the corner of Genesee Street and Grey Street, just east of Jefferson Avenue.  It would include a number of units designed specifically for seniors, as well as so-called 'support housing' for people recovering from addiction. 

The $23 million plan is being called the Mount Aaron Village, named after the nearby Mount Aaron Baptist Church and neighboring seniors home dubbed Mount Aaron Manor.

"This is part of a master plan to revitalize the east side," Rev. Jones said.

Jones said he has already received commitment of financial support from the City of Buffalo and other community partners.  However, all of that is contingent on financing approval from the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal.  Pastor Jones is waiting to find out if his application will get the green light.  

His concern is that Mount Aaron Village may get overlooked, and lose out against other proposed projects across the state.

"I need the support of all the elected officials in Buffalo, in Western New York."

He's asking for members of the community to put pressure on local, county, and state elected officials to support the project.  

"The more that the squeaky wheel makes noise," Jones says, the more likely this project will get approved.  He says construction could begin as early as late 2018.