Sunday, April 28, 2013

Housing fair taps into growing W.S. trend

By Brielynn Bell and Margot Harris
BengalNews Reporters
The West Side is becoming a popular location for homebuyers because of affordable housing and the rehabilitation of neighborhoods.
That’s according to Laura Sweat, deputy director of West Side and Black Rock-Riverside Neighborhood Housing Services. The organization’s records show that the number of homeowners it created last year doubled 2011’s numbers.
Sweat’s service was among many other groups that attended the West Side Housing Partnership Annual Housing Fair April 13  at the Loretto Ministry Center on 301 14th St. The event was hosted by Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc.
            About a dozen organizations including PUSH Green, Americorps Opportunity Corps and HomeFront Inc. participated in the fair to aid people in their pursuit of buying a house on the West Side.
Sweat believes organizations like the ones  at the event are the reason for the increasing appeal of purchasing a home on the West Side. Her organization’s goal is to preserve and revitalize Buffalo’s neighborhoods by providing safe, affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for people interested in purchasing houses.
“The West Side Housing Partnership is full of groups that work closely with residents,” Sweat said. “They’re very engaged and are starting to do stuff that people are noticing to bring back the West Side.”
            Jennifer Yuhnke, Heart of the City development coordinator, said her organization collaborates with the diverse organizations that support similar causes.
“We meet once a month, exchange information and try to figure out ways to reach out to the West Side residents better,” Yuhnke said. “Residents need to know that there are some quality, affordable houses in the West Side.”