Neighborhood Plan - Part V

Geoff Kelly over at Artvoice has reported on Belmont Shelter's neighborhood plan - here. Check out the emerging comment stream.

Neighborhood Plan background - Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI
ArtspaceBAVPAWoodlawn Row HousesfixBuffalo flickr
Creative ClassShrinking CitiesSaturdays in the neighborhood


RaChaCha said...

David, that is indeed great coverage and comment stream. Below is the comment I left at AV. It's great that you're so successfully engaging the community in this debate -- I think it goes beyond, as well, to larger issues of how these kinds of projects are conceived, planned, approved, developed, and funded. There needs to be more thoughtful policy, and better oversight of these organizations and projects. Some of that needs to happen at the state level, I believe. PUSH Buffalo has strong ties to the Empire State Housing Alliance -- you may want to check with them about the next time ESHA folks will be in Buffalo, and perhaps get some time with them to talk about this project and some of the larger issues it represents.

AV Comment:

About rehab vs. new build, I was in Buffalo Saturday for the House Restoration Fair, and had the chance to chat with some folks from Buffalo Habitat For Humanity. I was delighted to find that, unlike our H4H in My Fair City, which focuses almost exclusively on new builds, the Buffalo folks do rehab projects by a more than 2-to-1 ratio. They told me (and gave me a fact sheet) that a new build costs them over $70K, and a rehab typically about half that — although a rehab requires twice the labor hours.

About the designs with garages: we don’t find that to be necessary here. We have several community development organizations in My Fair City that are building infill houses in styles compatible with the surrounding stock — including some “neo-Queen Annes” — which don’t have attached garages. In some cases (where there’s room) there’s a separate garage built behind the house, but usually none. You can see an example here (scroll down to where it says “Olean Heights” on the left): http://www.providencehousing.org/Families.html

One thing our two cities have in common is that we both have some housing/community development organizations which don’t act ethically and transparently, and seem to have paramount their self-interest — that of their executives and associated companies — rather than that of the neighborhoods where they do projects. They do *to* a neighborhood, rather than *with* and *for* a neighborhood. Something must be done on a policy level to address that nonsense!

fixBuffalo said...

The comment stream has just expanded. Great read!