Overloaded Buffalo, NY running out of housing for refugees; bring in prefabs?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 8, 2016
Update September 9th: Be sure to see Daniel Greenfield at Frontpage magazine on ‘The Invasion of Buffalo’ here.
So what else is new. We told you here just the other day that Missoula, MT, which is getting its first refugees, can’t even find housing for the first arrivals.
Obama’s resettlement contractors are plowing ahead nevertheless trying to hit the 85,000 mark for this fiscal year (see here). I wonder does the US State Department give them a pass on their contracts which require providing a properly-sized house or apartment so they can get those bodies in here before the bell tolls midnight on Sept. 30th?
And, what makes them think they will have housing for 200,000 next year when they can’t find it for 85,000 this year? (If your town is gleefully building low income housing, be ready for refugees!)
Buffalo has been a long-established refugee site but gee, not enough affordable housing so now some are suggesting bringing in prefabricated housing—can you say refugee camp!
From WIVB Buffalo:
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- The number of refugees coming to Buffalo continues to grow. In 2016, more than 1,000 refugees have been resettled in the Queen City, according to city officials.
The growth has rejuvenated the West Side but now resettlement agencies are struggling to find housing.
“If I had 10 more multi family income properties in this neighborhood, I’d fill every one of them,” said Michael Maywalt, owner of Maywalt Realty. “The demand is very, very strong for additional refugee families to come and be with folks from their own countries.”
“In this neighborhood there’s a high concentration of Iraqi families, Burma, Nepal and more recently from Afghanistan and Syria,” said Maywalt.
He said his company is starting to look outside of Blackrock to expand, as they work to accommodate the growing number of refugees coming to Buffalo.
City officials told News 4 there are now about 20,000 refugees living in the city.
“We need more good quality housing stock and it’s not necessarily available for an affordable price in the locations that we’re looking,” said Denise Beehag, Director of Refugee Resettlement for International Institute. [This is another USCRI subcontractor—Lavinia Limon—ed]
The US State Department allots $2025 per head (per refugee) and here we see that USCRI keeps as much as $1100 of it for their office overhead and staff salaries. (The contractors get other money from HHS.)
Beehag said after administrative costs are taken out only about $925- $1,125 is actually available for them to use towards rent, the security deposit, furniture, clothing and other necessities.
Ozay [a local college professor] says there could be an opportunity for developers to work with resettlement agencies to apply for state or preservation grants to help create affordable housing.
Another idea they came up with was bringing in prefabricated houses.
“There’s actually a larger sort of affordable housing need in the city and we thought this could be a tool to facilitate this need as well,” said Ozay.
For our complete archive on Buffalo, click here. I recommend some local reporters use this archive for a more complete picture of what has happened with Buffalo over the years.