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Letter: Region desperately needs more low-income housing

Region desperately needs more low-income housing

I congratulate County Executive Mark Poloncarz for his stand on reserving tax abatement only for those upper-income apartment complexes that include at least a 10 percent set aside for lower-income families. I urge him to find a way to extend tax credits or in some other way incentivize low-income apartments in upper-income housing throughout the county. It would be a practical way to right historic discrimination against minority buyers and renters throughout the suburbs. The Buffalo metro area has long been distinguished as one of the most segregated communities in the country.

Integration has many benefits to all parties. We all need to get used to living in populations more representative of the nation’s diversity. The U.S. will be a nation of minorities by 2050. Including low-income families in all housing developments allows minority children to attend some of the best schools in the county, often found in outer-ring suburbs: Hamburg, Orchard Park, Aurora, Elma, Lancaster and Clarence. Those communities are increasingly home to much of the county service sector and manufacturing employment. More ready access to these jobs might help overcome the effects of job discrimination, which minorities have faced since the first area black man, Joseph Hodge, moved into Buffalo in 1790 and shortly thereafter was forced to move to the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation to make his living.

William J. Donohue


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