As early as April, Governor Katie Hochul spent $ 225 million in eastern Buffalo training on labor, infrastructure, small businesses and historic sites.
On Saturday, Hochul announced another $ 50 million, but with a different main focus after the May 14 massacre at the Tops supermarket: helping troubled East Side homeowners.
Ten people were shot dead in a Buffalo supermarket on May 14 during a horrific mass shooting, which authorities quickly described as “pure evil” and …
“I want this community to know that this is my home. This is deeply personal to me, “Hochul said, announcing funding for the Apollo media center, two blocks from the now-closed Cannons and surrounded by a group of state and local officials. “This is not a press conference day and we are leaving. This is a long-standing personal commitment from the Governor of New York to this community.”
Hochul said she had asked her team to identify pressing needs in the East.
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“Let’s grow up, let’s be brave,” Hochul told them.
“This is a moment of turning pain into progress,” said Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado.
Here’s how $ 34.5 million of the $ 50 million will be used for housing:
• $ 20 million: 4,000 homeowners will receive an average of $ 5,000 each to pay arrears of taxes, water and sewage bills.
• $ 10 million: More than 1,000 East Side homeowners will receive up to $ 10,000 each home repair grant.
• $ 4.5 million: 150 homeowners will receive $ 30,000 in advance payments for the first time.
Government officials say $ 225 million – 185 million from the state, 41 from philanthropy and 9 million from the city of Buffalo – will follow a planned, step-by-step approach that began several years ago. Those who are giving and receiving indicate that public funds will be well spent.
Marwa Treight, president of the Greater East Side Fields of Dreams Block Club Association in the Broadway Fillmore area, said the need for major home improvement projects is huge and inaccessible to many.
“I congratulate the governor for doing this for the East Side,” Threat said, although he said he wanted to keep his judgment until he saw how the program was being implemented. “There is a great need on the East Side to replace roofs and carry out painting and other repairs, especially when you grow old and your income is limited.”
The governor declared $ 3 million a “sustainability center” within the West New York Resources Council, 347 E. Ferry St. He will help counsel mental health and other social services needs in the community and oversee the housing grant application process.
A $ 2 million “public engagement unit” will be set up to inform people about the eligible services modeled on a successful program in New York.
Hochul also announced the creation of a commission to commemorate the shooting of Tops and the dead, with members to be appointed by Mayor Byron W. Brown.
“We want to hear the voices of the community,” Brown said, “and we want the vision of the community to be reflected in the memorial to be built on Jefferson Avenue.”
To address the shortage of grocery stores on the East Side, Hochul has announced $ 3 million to rehabilitate the future African Heritage Home for the Fruit Belt food cooperative on the corner of Carlton and Locust streets.
“We have a building, we have an engine, we have an architect, we have environmental studies, we have illustrations,” African Heritage Food Co-op founder Alex Wright told the media in front of the Carlton Street building where he plans to open. “The only thing we don’t have is funding. Help us do something that is in the community, for the community.”
Alexander Wright, the cooperative’s founder, said the food market would cope with the “food apartheid” that exists in many communities in the East due to the lack of grocery stores, while promoting black ownership and jobs for community members. .
Small businesses and job training also receive significant funding.
The state will invest $ 7 million in capital and operating subsidies for businesses in zip codes 14208 and 14209. Capital subsidies will reach $ 100,000 and operating subsidies up to $ 50,000.
The state is also investing $ 1.5 million in a “career building center” in good faith near the Tops market. The intention is to train people for higher paid and sought-after jobs in manufacturing, technology, healthcare and sales and services.
To meet short-term transportation needs, Hochul said the state would continue to cancel fares on bus routes 12, 13, 18 and 24 and provide free transportation to Price Rite on Elmwood Avenue until the planned reopening of Tops in late July.
Every speaker attacks the superiority of white and says that tragedy is an opportunity for the community to emerge stronger after it.
“We will accept this atrocity of white supremacy and the evil that raised its ugly head in Buffalo, and we will do something positive about it,” said US Senator Tim Kennedy.
“We can be so strong in Buffalo and Erie County when all our areas are strong,” said County Executive Director Mark Poloncarz. “These investments will make a difference not only for the East Side, but for the whole of Buffalo and the whole of Erie County.”
Abundance moved through the sun-drenched crowd gathered for Saturday’s June 16 parade. But the pain and sadness of last month’s racist massacre at Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue was obvious.
The leader of the majority in the assembly, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, praised Hochul “as the first leader of our country who really engages our communities directly to understand what our needs are and how we believe we need to build our future.”
Jerry Daniels, owner of Jefferson’s Carl-Jeff Barber Shop, said he wished there was no disaster to make the recently announced investment.
“I think this is something that is long overdue,” Daniels said. “If the money is available now, it should have been available before for an area where it is definitely needed.”
Hachul expressed confidence that the funds – both the money announced for the East Side before the Tops shooting and the money announced on Saturday – would make a lasting difference.
“They will change the face of this community forever,” the governor said. “For me, this is the most important thing – to give people here the feeling that this community has value.”
$ 50 million adds up to $ 225 million for the East Side before the shooting, which includes $ 185 million from the state, $ 41 million from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. and other philanthropies and $ 9 million from the city of Buffalo.
It was not immediately clear whether the $ 50 million just announced was fully funded by the state.
In April, the governor spent $ 76 million to widen the Northland Avenue belt corridor and the Northland Workforce Training Center; $ 61 million to renovate the corridor, the exterior of the tower building, and the Central Terminal; $ 37 million to create a state-of-the-art Broadway market; $ 30 million to build the Michigan Street African-American Heritage Corridor; $ 15 million to strengthen trade corridors; and $ 6 million to restore greenhouses in Martin Luther King Jr. Park.