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City Hallways (July 18) Tenants living in most of the auction houses Buffalo wants to obtain

Rent  to own?

Lots of talk yesterday about the Brown Administration's plan to obtain dozens of houses - between 30 or 40 is likely, but possibly more -- at this week's tax foreclosure sale.

All of  the  houses, the city's top planning official told Council members, are owned  by out-of-town landlords who do not  live  in the  houses  themselves.

Most  of  these houses are occupied by renters, he said..

What will happen to these tenants if the city obtains ownership of the houses?

Brendan Mehaffy, the city's strategic planning director, said the city will  first see if the tenants can - if  they want  to - buy the homes they live  in.

If they can't - or don't want to -  the  city will work with  a neighborhood organization to ensure  the tenants get alternative housing, Mehaffy said.

"If they can't stay in the property, we will work to find another property to make sure they are in  a better position after they are done," he said.

Mehaffy  has previously said the city wants to obtain these foreclosed  properties to ensure they aren't bought up at  the auction by another out-of-town speculator who  allows the properties to languish.The city will then sell the houses to owner-occupants, working with them on strategies to upgrade the properties. Preference will be given to city residents.

Many of these houses, Mehaffy said, are already the most dilapidated on their blocks.

Take a knee/raise a fist


Masten Councilman Wingo is expected to continue his protest at today's Council meeting against police shootings of African Americans throughout the country.

While his colleagues salute the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance, Wingo will likely raise a fist - as he's done as the last two Council meetings.

Wingo's expected to have supporters in  the audience endorsing his protest, at  least as many  as- and  likely more than - the 50  or so who showed up two weeks ago.


Neighborhood News - housing

Mayor Brown attended ribbon cutting Monday for Patriot Heights Apartments, 347 E. Ferry St.

It's a 16-unit low-income complex for single mothers who are military veterans.

The building was once housed the Humboldt YMCA.


Today's Calendar Items

City foreclosure auction starts today. Runs through Thursday.

Council meeting this afternoon.  Lawmakers expected to approve new regulations the Brown Administration developed to help target lead poisoning in the city.

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