Buffalo Housing Homeless Outreach Program.

The focus of Buffalo Housing Homeless Outreach is on preventing evictions and foreclosures in Erie County. They offer services for both homeowners and tenants, as well as referrals to financial aid when possible. The agency can also be a source of information on government programs such as section 8 or heating bill help from LIHEAP. Other information is on weatherization as well as minor home repairs.

Buffalo Housing Outreach homeless prevention and homeowner services

As most know purchasing a first home can be a complicated process, so advice from Buffalo Housing Homeless Outreach First Time Home Buyer workshops can assist. There is guidance for those individuals that are working through requirements and details involved in making a major purchase. Explore everything from low interest loans to legal support in reviewing a purchase agreement.

HEAP provides financial assistance with home utility bills. This is a one time per year program, with a crisis component as well. In some cases, unpaid utility bill or heating costs can lead to homelessness, so Buffalo Housing Homeless Outreach will offer referrals to this. Any grants as part of HEAP are made directly to the energy or gas company.

Rent assistance is mostly available from section 8. This is the nation's main resource for very low income families, as their housing costs will be based on a percentage of their income. The balance of the cost is paid by the government. However, other services arranged by Housing Homeless Outreach team can include mediation with landlords to try to find a solution to an eviction or other advice.

Credit and foreclosure counseling from Erie County can help prevent homelessness. This is available as a low cost service that helps Buffalo area residents with finding resolutions to their credit issues. Trained and experienced counselors provide ongoing, one-on-one advice and guidance for program participants to remedy current credit or mortgage problems. They will create a budget, work with lenders or landlords to find solutions, and monitor progress.

Repairs and modifications

Buffalo Housing Homeless Outreach Home Modification Program is for low to moderate-income homeowners. The focus is on the disabled and elderly. Since the repairs are funded by government grants or volunteers donating time, funding is limited.




Some of the adaptive modifications offered include, but are not limited to, installing ramps. There may also be some minor roof patching to keep heat in or minor safety issues are fixed. The goal is to help  disabled people of all ages who are in need of home accessibility modifications and also expand living options for persons with disabilities in Erie County and to prevent institutionalization.

The agency may also assist financially disadvantaged homeowners with correcting violations or bring a home up to Section 8 Housing Quality Standards. It is only for owner occupied homes that are single family owned in Buffalo. The program addresses issues with plumbing, heating, electrical, building structure, and handicap accessibility. Modifications include, but are not limited to, widening doorways as well as adding ramps and making bathrooms accessible. The disabled may qualify for handicap accessible modifications from Housing Homeless Outreach. These are often included in the programs above.

Seniors also have a designated grant programs for Home Maintenance. This assists residents over age 65 with basic repairs. The money spent on the work is provided in the form of a one-time grant to the homeowner, and the amount offered is limited. In some cases, due to the applicant's income or lack of funding, a loan is issued to the senior.

Available services from Buffalo Housing Homeless Outreach include any type of home maintenance and/or repairs, including, but not limited to, roof, bathroom, and siding or window repairs for the senior citizen With the cold in Erie County, there may also be some work done for heater repairs and installation; plus many other types of home maintenance tasks, as needed.

For more information, or referrals, Buffalo Housing Homeless Outreach is located at 2969 Main Stree. The crisis number is (716) 834-3131.




By Jon McNamara

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