November 16th, 2012 BUFFALO RISING
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Homeowners with developmental disabilities living in the city of Buffalo now have an opportunity for home renovations through the Stable Homes project, created by Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. (HOCN) and Learning Disabilities Association of Western New York (LDA of WNY). The Stable Homes program provides individuals with developmental disabilities, a population that is most vulnerable to health issues associated with older homes, a sustainable home.
This past spring HOCN and LDA of WNY teamed up to bring sustainability to low-income homeowners. This is just the beginning of the Stable Homes program, which had been funded by the NYS Department of Homes & Community Renewal (DHCR) and the NYS Affordable Housing Corporation through HOCN’s Green and Healthy Homes Initiative.
“LDA of WNY and HOCN are doing tremendous work looking out for the most vulnerable citizens of our community, and they should be commended for their tireless commitment to the Stable Homes project,” says NYS Assembly Member Sean Ryan. “I will be working with my colleagues to ensure that DHCR continues to have the resources to fund this worthwhile program.”
Three homes have been completed through the Stable Homes project, with enough left over from the grant to complete seven more homes owned by those with developmental disabilities.
Homeowner and I-Voice Buffalo Advocate Marie Malinowski was a recipient of the Stable Homes pilot project.
“I am just so appreciative to have had it done. The process was thorough, with a proper inspection,” says Malinowski. “They knew what needed to be fixed and they did it right”.
LDA of WNY and HOCN know that the age of a home can lead to high maintenance demands such as exposures to lead, safety hazards and mental health stressors.
“The Stable Homes collaboration is an important piece to LDA’s initiative to create stable, affordable safe housing for the persons we serve in the communities in which they wish to live,” says Marc Hennig, deputy director of programs for LDA of WNY.
Stephanie Simeon, executive director, HOCN, has seen her fair share of old homes taking a toll on those who live within them.
“We know how difficult it can be to make costly but necessary repairs on Buffalo’s old housing stock, but we also know how important these repairs can be not only for the health of the home, but for the health of the families that reside within these homes,” said Simeon.
The collaboration of HOCN and LDA of WNY now allows HOCN to improve homes outside of their designated service area in Buffalo, “Heart of the City is excited to be able to extend our home repair services to others in Buffalo, outside of the Lower West Side,” says Simeon.
To apply for a home renovation through the Stable Homes program please contact Jennifer Stemier of Learning Disabilities Association of WNY at (716) 874-7200 ext. 159.