I grew up on the west side of Buffalo. I've been here for 34 years. For 26 years, I've lived right here on the west side. And this neighborhood back then looked like a third world bomb out shelter.
LOU JEAN FLERON: It was otherwise written off. It was an abandoned territory, quite frankly.
AARON BARTLEY: That we were up at about 20%, 25% vacant housing. Once you hit 30%, 35%, neighborhoods become very vacant very quickly.
LOU JEAN FLERON: Great vacancies through blocks after blocks after blocks, and people who didn't have jobs, or had jobs that would not support their families.
MAXINE MURPHY: I wanted to be part of something to make change. And we took people from the community and fixed abandoned buildings up and made them livable.
AARON BARTLEY: It's gratifying to know that folks from the community are in those spaces. They live in those buildings now. It's housing that we built for the community, and it's good housing.
RAHWA GHIRMATZION: We are trying to build a mixed income, a mixed [? amenity ?] neighborhood. Those are the cities of the future. We can work with each other across sectors. Then we can basically build a more progressive, more equitable, and open Buffalo.
SAM MAGAVERN: It takes more than a good idea to change government policy. And so we have experience in doing policy advocacy, in working with elected officials, and putting together campaigns.
For the example of P.U.S.H. Buffalo, as they were trying to figure out, how do you do sustainable affordable housing in a city with Buffalo's challenges? We were able to do research on best practices from around the country, to know when something works. We try and tell the world about it. So we've done reports for P.U.S.H. Buffalo, for example, that explain things that they're doing that are working really well and that other groups, not just in Buffalo, but really around the country, or even around the world, can gain from. Cornell has been a great asset for Buffalo over the decades. And here at [INAUDIBLE], we've really been able to draw on that legacy.
I've watched the city change dramatically. If you go to the west side, and you look at P.U.S.H's screen development zone, that's a place that was rife with abandoned, boarded-up housing units as little as 5 to 10 years ago. And now it's a thriving, mixed income neighborhood, with a very solid block of affordable housing that will stay permanently affordable. Everyone wants to see a neighborhood transformed. Everyone wants to see local residents get a chance to work on the projects that are making their community better. We have to make sure that that reaches everyone. That can't just be a 25-block area. That's what we want for a whole city.
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Founded in 2007 by Cornell in Buffalo, a program of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the city’s Partnership for the Public Good works with a diverse network of stakeholders to empower smart, sustainable growth by Buffalo neighborhoods. The ILR School has been embedded in Buffalo since 1946, conducting outreach and research to support the city through economic prosperity, recession and revitalization.