BUFFALO, N.Y. — Following last month’s mass shooting at a Jefferson Avenue Tops supermarket, the East Side of Buffalo is getting a $50 million investment, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Saturday.
The Governor’s Office says the investment efforts are intended to “help stabilize and strengthen the community in the short term,” while pledging that the state will work to “determine the scope of longer-term economic development and empowerment strategies.”
The investment includes:
- A $34.5 million investment for the New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the Department of Taxation and Finance to serve up to 4,000 homeowners in need of tax, water and sewage arrears assistance with an average award of $5,000, homeowners with homes in need of serious repairs with an average award of $10,000, and 150 homeowners who will have access to down payment assistance with an average award of $30,000.
- $3 million for the Resource Council of Western New York to create the East Side Resiliency Center, which aims to offer door-to-door education and access to benefits, services and programs.
- $3 million for the African Heritage Food Cooperative from Empire State Development.
- A $1.5 million investment to expand the Goodskills Career Builder Program for East Buffalo.
- A free shuttle will be provided starting July 19 from outside the Merriweather Library and the Resource Council of Western New York to the Price Rite on Elmwood Avenue until the re-opening of the Jefferson Avenue Tops, which is scheduled for late July.
- Fares will be waived on the 12 (Utica), 13 (Kensington), 18 (Jefferson) and 24 (Genesee) routes through the end of July.
- $7 million in grants for businesses in 14208 and 14209 ZIP codes.
“East Buffalo and communities like it have for decades suffered from significant disinvestment, neglect, and the failure of government policy,” Hochul said in a statement. “We are not afraid to take on these systemic challenges, and together, with the City, the County, community members, and other partners – we’re going to do that. Today’s announcement is a down payment on the much larger amount of work that lies ahead.”
“New York joined today in unity and compassion to support the grieving community of East Buffalo with investments that will help empower this community that has experienced so much pain,” Lieut. Gov. Antonio Delgado said in a statement. “Nobody is born to hate. It is a learned behavior. Today we brought love to this community that was the victim of hate in the form of these new investments, love that will help it flourish and grow.”
Hochul and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also announced a memorial commission will be launched to create a 5/14 Memorial.
“I'm honored to continue working closely with Governor Kathy Hochul as we partner on short term and long term needs of East Buffalo and Buffalo's Black community,” Brown said in a statement. “I'm also very pleased that we will establish a 5/14 Memorial Commission, that I will lead, working with the Governor, other partners in government, families of the victims and the community to build a memorial to permanently remember the ten innocent members of our community that were killed in this racially motivated mass shooting.”
Hochul says the state is committed long-term to determine the needs of those in the East Side.