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AID TO REVAMP HOUSING

More than three-quarters of the Lakeview Homes on the city's lower West Side will be razed, 100 units will be renovated, and another 200 apartments built, federal and city officials announced today.

The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority will receive $28 million to demolish 554 of Lakeview's 666 units and renovate or build the others.

Andrew Cuomo, U.S. secretary of housing and urban development, today announced the grant in a telephone conference call to Mayor Masiello's office.

"We're going to be doing substantial demolition on the site," said Sharon M. West, the authority's executive director. "Three-quarters of the site will be coming down. There will be 112 units left out of 666 units that are there, and they'll be reconfigured." The Buffalo Housing Authority is one of only 27 such agencies across the country awarded a total of $498.3 million under a federal program to tear down obsolete public housing.

The authority plans to rebuild on the 20-acre site and in the neighborhood, with 100 renovated houses and apartments, 200 senior citizen apartments, new single-family homes and eight acres of parkland.

Ms. West said an additional 83 new homes and apartments will be constructed.

"This grant give us the ability to create a neighborhood," Masiello said today. "No longer will we isolate and stigmatize low-income residents by sticking them in sterile, traditional housing projects.

The $28 million demolition and renovation plan comes a decade after HUD spent $56 million on modernization and renovation at three federally funded housing projects, including Lakeview.

Several apartments there are undergoing a $3 million lead abatement and renovation.

Lakeview has a 25 percent vacancy rate, Ms. West said. The plan is designed to integrate the reconfigured Lakeview project into the surrounding neighborhood. The plan seeks to attract working families with the addition of new single-family, private housing, some of which will be built within the present confines of the Lakeview Homes.

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