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Higgins announces federal affordable housing assistance for people with disabilities


Fri, May 29th 2020 12:45 pm

Buffalo & BMHA receive nearly $100,000 in new COVID-19 federal HUD grants, over $16 million to date

Congressman Brian Higgins announced $34,561 to Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) and $65,073 to the City of Buffalo in federal funding to assist in providing affordable housing to non-elderly people living with disabilities through the Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program. This brings total affordable housing federal emergency relief supporting Buffalo residents to over $16 million: $3,044,512 for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority and $13,120,017 for the City of Buffalo.

“Safe and affordable housing is more critical than ever amidst the present coronavirus outbreak. Vulnerable Western New Yorkers deserve a place to stay-at-home, and this funding will go towards accomplishing that goal,” Higgins said.

The CARES Act, approved by Congress on March 27, provided funding to the housing choice voucher program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Vouchers provide assistance with safe and affordable housing to very low-income seniors, families and disabled individuals. The vouchers are administered by public housing agencies, but recipients are free to choose housing outside of traditional public housing units that meet program requirements. The program is for those with an annual gross income less than 50% of the median income.

Higgins recently announced more than $1.624 million ($640,892 for Buffalo and $162,890 for BMHA) toward rental assistance for voucher recipients; over $3.856 million in federal funding (including $1,847,061 for BMHA) to safeguard residents in low-income housing; and announced nearly $20 million in emergency COVID-19 funding for Western New York communities (including $12,414,052 for Buffalo), to prevent homelessness and support local community development needs, such as affordable housing, infrastructure investment and job creation.

The voucher program helps to further the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act by helping persons with disabilities live in community-based settings. The program also encourages partnerships with health and human service agencies with a demonstrated capacity to coordinate voluntary services and supports to enable individuals to live independently in the community.

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