Press Kit Download
Click on the Button below to download the Heart of the City Neighborhood Press Kit PDF.
(716) 882-7661 ext 200
Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc.
251 Virginia Street, Suite A
Buffalo NY 14201
Phone: (716) 882-7661
Fax: (716) 882-7662
Click the buttons below to download HOCN’s various program brochures.
Our Mission & Vision
Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. (HOCN) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Community Development Corporation dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing in Buffalo’s Lower West Side.
Heart of the City’s mission is to create, facilitate and support housing and neighborhood development in the Lower West Side of the City of Buffalo. This is accomplished by creating programs to improve the quality of residential housing, assisting private developers, neighborhood leaders, the City and other not-for-profit organizations to develop sustainable projects to improve Lower West Side neighborhoods.
Working together with residents and neighborhood organizations, local leaders, financial institutions and real estate professionals, HOCN works to stabilize and create integrated, mixed income neighborhoods where individuals and families of all incomes will have a better quality of life and take pride in their property, their street, and their community.
- HOCN provides homeownership opportunities through the H.O.P.E. (“Home Ownership Provides Equity”) program, while revitalizing neglected homes in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.
- In 2009, the Office of the City of Buffalo Strategic Planning noted Heart of the City’s service area in the Lower West Side having 310 vacant properties: 257 residential properties, 52 commercial properties, and 1 urban renewal/ slum clearance
- HOCN assists area homeowners with grants.
- HOCN has executed minor home repairs on 44 homes, major rehabilitation on 7 homes (13 units), and major rehabilitation on 1 six-unit rental property.
- HOCN has created a Lower West Side Map & Guide to highlight this unique neighborhood comprised of public spaces, local businesses, cultural amenities, and vibrant residential communities.
- HOCN offers referrals to resources for homeowners, first-time homebuyers, and tenants.
- HOCN serves as Ellicott District Liaison at housing court hearings to assist neighbors who have properties they no longer able to care for in an effort to build a stronger community.
- HOCN utilizes a block-by-block approach to fighting blight and abandoned homes within its service area. Currently, HOCN is rehabilitating homes on Whitney Place, Prospect Avenue, and Hudson Street.
- HOCN has planted 299 trees all over the Lower West Side, including along our Hudson Street and Whitney Place target areas, as part of our neighborhood beautification program.
- Everything Heart of the City does is with a singular goal: to improve housing opportunities and quality of life within our service area, and by extension, in the City of Buffalo.
Our Past Eleven Years of Success
- 1996 HOCN’s first building project was the redevelopment of the former Norbans Building into the Glenny Center International Hostel.
- 1997 Commissioned a marketing study of the feasibility of market rate rental units in the downtown core that was the basis for much of the multiple market and high-end unit development currently underway.
- 2001 Rehabilitation of the Watkins Building, a former Pan American Exposition Hotel at 170 West Chippewa that sat as a vacant eyesore on in Buffalo for many years, into six market-rate units.
- 2002 Purchased, rehabilitated and sold 60 Cottage Street, a century old Victorian sitting prominently at the corner of Maryland and Cottage streets that sat as an eyesore in the neighborhood for years.
- 2002 HOCN launched the Plymouth Avenue Block Reclamation project with the purchase of 15 Plymouth Avenue.
- 2003 Purchased and rehabilitated 318 Maryland into three low/moderate-income rental units.
- 2006 Launched the Plymouth Avenue Reclamation Plan with the purchase and rehab of once vacant and decrepit properties, including 23, 42, and 44 Plymouth Avenue.
- 2007 Repainted 13 homes in 1 day with the help of 700 volunteers in collaboration with Brush Up Buffalo.
- 2008 Purchased, rehabilitated and sold 263 Hudson Street, a vacant property that blighted the neighborhood for many years.
- 2010 Launched the Whitney Place Properties Initiative, which involved the purchase and rehab of 245 and 251 Whitney Place for resale as part of the effort to restore life on the block.
Heart of the City’s success continues to grow with the launch of new programs and developments each year!
“Forum Held to Bridge the Gap” Buffalo News
“Whitney Place Rehabs” Buffalo Rising
“New-Build Apartment Plan Draws Protest” Art Voice
“Hudson Street Apartment Project Funded” Buffalo Rising
“Living In The Heart of the City” Video
“23 Plymouth Avenue” WIVB News Video