News Flash

City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: February 4, 2021

Mayor Brown Announces Important Updates to Buffalo’s Response to the Covid-19 Emergency 2-4-21

Covid-19-Update

Buffalo, NY---Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today that due to a potentially significant windstorm/snowstorm being forecasted for the region, the City of Buffalo is closing the following parks to the public as of 8:30 am on Friday, February 5, 2021:

  • Erie Basin Marina
  • Broderick Park
  • The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park  

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for Erie County starting at 7am Friday. A Lake Effect Snow Warning is also in effect for the City starting at 4pm Friday. Mayor Brown urges residents to be safe, stay alert to the evolving forecast and exercise caution on the roads during the weather event.

Mayor Brown’s new initiative to address housing and small business needs during COVID-19

Mayor Brown today launched the Small Business, Tenants, And Neighborhood Development Underwriting Program or “STAND UP Buffalo” Initiative. The initiative is comprised of a series of direct assistance grants and programs that will allow residents and business owners to respond to the unique challenges the global Coronavirus Pandemic has caused in Buffalo and cities across the nation. Eligible applicants can begin applying for assistance from the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA), and its community partners, beginning February 8, 2021.

Mayor Brown stated, “For almost a year now, Buffalo’s residents and small businesses have had to find innovative ways to cope with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the guidelines that have been put in place to help slow the spread. Today’s announcement of a new set of assistance programs will help our City’s tenants, homeowners, and entrepreneurs access the resources they need to continue operating during these difficult circumstances and give people the hope they need as the vaccine becomes more widely accessible and the end of the pandemic’s restrictions are within sight.” 

The City of Buffalo received $11 million from the CARES Act and other funding sources to fund the STAND UP Buffalo programs. From that grant, BURA proactively developed new programs to meet the specific needs which have been identified below:

  • Eviction Prevention
  • Foreclosure Prevention
  • Fair Housing
  • Owner & Rental Housing Rehab
  • Microenterprise Assistance
  • Digital Inclusion Analysis

BURA is partnering with several community agencies and entities to provide services to qualifying participants. Eligible applicants must have incomes below 80 percent of the area median income. BURA established a new Central Intake System, which residents can access by calling 2-1-1, 3-1-1, or one of the partnering agencies administering the desired services. After answering some questions, the central intake system will direct qualifying applicants to the appropriate service program so they can access the appropriate form and type of assistance.

Community agencies partnering with the City to deliver these critical services to City residents and small businesses include: 

  • 2-1-1 WNY
  • Matt Urban Center
  • Restoration Society
  • Belmont Housing Resources
  • Center for Elder Law and Justice
  • Catholic Charities
  • Buffalo Urban League
  • Old First Ward Community Association
  • Heart of the City Neighborhoods
  • University District Community Development Association
  • Housing Opportunities Made Equal
  • Neighborhood Legal Services
  • Westminster Economic Development Initiative 

“The Matt Urban Center provides a wide range of services to the East Side of Buffalo including, home repairs and weatherization, affordable housing development, multiple programs aimed at addressing homelessness as well as robust programs for youth and seniors,” said Ben Hilligas, Executive Director. Our mission is to provide programs that revitalize neighborhoods, serve families, and change lives. When I hear ‘STAND UP Buffalo’ I immediately think of the strength and resilience of our community and the solidarity we demonstrate and represent as citizens of the City of Buffalo. We thank the Mayor for his commitment to fair and equal housing in the City of Buffalo.”

“Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) looks forward to partnering with BURA in delivering key COVID-19 related fair housing information and services to City of Buffalo residents,” said DeAnna Eason, Executive Director. “The concurrent nature of both the health and housing crises facing our community only serves to elevate the importance of disseminating accurate and relevant materials to residents and area agencies. The funding provided through BURA will allow us to widely broadcast our fair housing services and engage with clients who were previously unaware of their rights within the current COVID-19 parameters.”

The City is looking to make investments that will have long-term impacts once the pandemic ends. It is estimated that nearly 2,000 residents will receive these services in 2021.

 

Parking reminder

City residents are reminded to obey the “No Parking 6 pm Thursday to 6 pm Monday” signs. We need to ensure that emergency vehicles can get down these streets.

 

Parking regulations the focus of Virtual Block Chat tomorrow 

The Division of Citizen Services and the Board of Block Clubs are holding a Virtual Block Chat on Friday, February 5th at Noon. City of Buffalo Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer is this week’s featured guest and he will explain what residents need to know when it comes to parking rules and regulations. Residents can attend the free event by visiting https://buffalony.webex.com/meet/citizenservices.

 

The City of Buffalo lights up for World Cancer Day

Mayor Brown has directed the Buffalo Landmark Illumination Team (Buffalo LIT) to light up their structures in blue and orange in recognition of World Cancer Day, the global effort to end cancer.

 

City of Buffalo User Fee Office operating remotely

The City of Buffalo User Fee office is no longer offering in-person appointments at this time. Any resident in need a copy of their User Fee Bill, Change of Address Form or to speak to someone about their bill should contact 851-5370 or 851-5014. Copies of bills will be printed and available for contactless pickup in Room 114 at Buffalo City Hall.

 

COVID-19 testing available 

To find the closest COVID-19 test site near you, visit covid19.buffalony.gov. The map contains a complete listing of all COVID-19 testing sites throughout the City with contact information for setting up an appointment, hours of operation and whether the site requires a prescription for testing.

 

Tune in Sunday to “Talk of the Town with Mayor Brown” 

Mayor Brown continues to expand efforts to keep residents informed on important updates in our community. Tune in to his radio show, “Talk of the Town with Mayor Brown,” Sunday, February 7th, at 1pm on the legendary WUFO Mix 1080 AM/ Power 96.5.  

 

Help maintain our local blood supply by donating today

 

Mayor Brown encourages healthy, COVID-19 symptom-free residents to give blood to help maintain an adequate supply. Donating is safe and social distancing precautions are in place to protect donors. To make an appointment or if you are interested in holding a blood drive, visit connectlifegiveblood.org.

 

Sign up for BuffAlert

 

Use BuffAlert to stay informed on important information like emergencies and cancellations. You can sign up by texting JOIN BUFFALERT to 30890.

 

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