Erie County, Partners Announce Affordable Housing Project and Local Housing Law

Sent to me from Mark's office.

APRIL 26, 2024

CONTACT: Daniel Meyer


Site for new home on Long Avenue latest example of affordable housing made possible by local legislation

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined today by officials from the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation (BENLIC), Cheektowaga Town Supervisor Brian Nowak, representatives of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, and members of the Erie County Legislature to celebrate the announcement of the latest affordable housing project made possible by a local law authorizing the funding of affordable housing opportunities. Passed to legally ensure all residents have access to safe housing at an affordable cost, this legislation addresses the current housing crisis in Erie County as well as across the nation.

The eventual construction of a new single-family home at 44 Long Ave. in the Town of Cheektowaga is one of five new infill homes in Cheektowaga and the latest example of the productive collaboration between Erie County, BENLIC and local municipalities to return vacant property to productive use in the form of affordable housing.

Signed into law by County Executive Poloncarz earlier today, the local law authorizes the funding of affordable housing opportunities in Erie County through eligible use of county dollars by acknowledging the scarcity of affordable housing in the region. Construction of the new home on Long Avenue in Cheektowaga is expected to begin in late spring/early summer.

According to the most recent U.S. Census Data for housing, the five-year period of 2018 through 2022 showed nearly 50 percent of renters who reside in Erie County spent in excess of 30 percent of their total household income on housing-related costs.

In addition, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Out of Reach” report showed that a renter living in Erie County would have to earn at least $20.56 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment at market rate or would have to work 56 hours per week at the current minimum wage to pay for the same two-bedroom housing unit.

"This is a project that shows how working together we are able to identify and address a need in our community," said Poloncarz. "There is an affordable housing crisis occurring throughout our country, so anytime we can take action locally to allow for the construction of new housing we are improving our community. Our continued partnership with the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation and relationships with forward-thinking and creative-minded elected officials like Brian Nowak from the Town of Cheektowaga allows for this future project and others to become a reality."

"We all know there is a mismatch between what the private market offers and what our local community demands,” said Jocelyn Gordon, Executive Director of BENLIC. “There is a strong demand for moderately priced, high quality, new homes in Erie County. Homes for our working families. Homes for our residents starting on their homeownership journey. Homes for our retirees hoping to simplify into a right sized, energy efficient space. Having heard those requests we at BENLIC have worked hard to identify vacant lots that would be best suited to build these homes and meet these demands. We know this site, which has sat vacant for years after a tragic fire, is ready to be returned to productive use, and most important, will contribute to the fabric of this neighborhood once again. We want to thank County Executive Poloncarz and the employees from the County's department of Environment and Planning for their leadership and encouragement as we all work together towards a common goal of more affordable housing projects throughout the region."

"Affordability is a big issue in the Town of Cheektowaga and it is something I heard last year while on the campaign trail and I continue to hear about on a regular basis during my first few months in the Town Supervisor's Office," said Nowak. "Whenever there is an opportunity for affordable housing projects we have to be open to working collaboratively with Erie County and BENLIC. This is one home and I'm confident more vacant parcels in Cheektowaga will be developed in the future."

For more information:

About the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, visit

About the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation, visit