More Information About Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc.
Over 700 volunteers helped with Brush Up Buffalo, painting 13 homes.
We’ve helped to reforest the Lower West Side by organizing volunteers to plant nearly 300 trees.
About Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc.
Why We Exist
Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. (HOCN) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Community Development Corporation that exists to create, facilitate and support housing and neighborhood development in Buffalo’s core communities.
This is accomplished by creating programs to improve the quality of residential housing, and by developing sustainable projects to improve Buffalo’s core communities. We have been around since 1998 and have been designated a Neighborhood Preservation Company for the core communities in Buffalo, including the Lower West Side, West Side, Upper West Side, Allentown, Pratt-Willert, Central, MLK Park, Fruit Belt, Elmwood Bryant, and parts of Masten Park, Genesee-Moselle, and Broadway Fillmore communities.
- Accessibility to quality, affordable housing
- Working with residents and neighborhood organizations
- Stable, integrated, mixed income neighborhoods
- Healthy communities where individuals and families will have a better quality of life and take pride in their property, their street, and their community.
Our Strategic Priorities
- Increase Community Engagement
- Increase Home Ownership Opportunities
- Increase Access to Affordable Rental Housing
- Increase Access to Quality and Safe Housing
- Advocate Against Substandard Housing Units
- Advocate for Neighborhood Improvements
Our Strategic Plan
Download a copy of Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc.’s 2017 Strategic Plan
Since it’s incorporation in 1998, HOCN has completed several successful projects. HOCN launched the Plymouth Avenue Block Club Reclamation in 2002, working with residents to achieve economic growth and community development through various projects on Plymouth Avenue, as well as residing on the block for eight years. HOCN then spread our block-by-block approach to eliminating blight on Hudson Street, Whitney Place, and Prospect Avenue. In 2018, we expanded our service area to incorporate other core communities in need of affordable housing development support.
HOCN has also had a range of smaller neighborhood beautification projects throughout the years: from planting 299 trees to hosting various neighborhood clean-ups, and working with the City of Buffalo’s Housing Court to address housing code violations to holding community forums about street maintenance and neighborhood violence. These efforts go a long way to create a more attractive community, affirm personal dignity and inspire neighborhood pride.
These are not just short term impacts; all of HOCN’s work is purposed to insure long-term revitalization. These smaller efforts weave together HOCN’s more prominent projects; they have a large impact on the reputation of HOCN in the neighborhood and do a great deal to boost the community’s overall pride.
Including past and current projects, HOCN’s rehabilitation efforts represent over $4 million of development invested in the Lower West Side neighborhood. Between 1998 and 2017, HOCN coordinated 121 units of owner-occupied home repairs, renovated 20 vacant units and one 6-unit rental property, and constructed 8 units of affordable rental housing.
Learn more about our success stories over the past 15+ years here.