Articles for I'Jaz Ja'ciel

Apr 10

2024

Lights out at Buffalo hostel

Updated at 3:06 p.m. Wednesday The city shut down Hostel Buffalo-Niagara Wednesday following an inspection that resulted in condemnation of the downtown building. City inspectors cited unsafe electrical service to the hostel as well as structural hazards at an attached rear building. The fire department then condemned the city-owned hostel building, citing the electrical issues.  The building and fire safety inspectors arrived shortly before noon to inspect 667 Main St., the hostel’s building, according to a hostel employee. The inspectors unscrewed a door in the back to gain access to the adjacent building at 664 Washington St., which is vacant[...]

Posted 7 days ago

Mar 26

2024

Buffalo hostel pushes back against vacate order

Representatives of Hostel Buffalo-Niagara say they’re planning to fight the city’s order for them to vacate their Main Street building. The hostel has no plans to shut down April 15 — the date it’s been ordered to close shop for construction at an adjacent building. As of now, its long-range plan is to remain open, and to eventually buy the hostel building from the city, Hostel Buffalo-Niagara president Alexander Burgos said Tuesday. “We have an engineer that doesn’t feel that closing our business is necessary and that we can continue to operate while they perform construction,” Burgos told Investigative Post.[...]

Posted 3 weeks ago

Mar 22

2024

Downtown hostel gets a reprieve

The Hostel Buffalo-Niagara downtown Buffalo. The city has backed off its insistence that Hostel Buffalo-Niagara vacate its downtown location on Monday, allowing it to host visitors for the April 8 solar eclipse.  Work to stabilize an adjacent structure to the rear is scheduled to start soon and the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, owner of the two buildings, said it would be unsafe for the hostel to remain open during the work. Hostel managers lobbied for an extension to accommodate the visitors who have booked for the eclipse. “So as to not inconvenience the out-of-town visitors for this historic event, BURA[...]

Posted 4 weeks ago

Mar 15

2024

Solutions to Buffalo’s lagging mortgage lending to Black residents

Second in a series on the impact of lending practices on homeownership by Black residents in Erie and Niagara counties. The first story is here. Analysts and community leaders suggest a series of banking reforms aimed at increasing Black homeownership in Erie and Niagara counties. Ideas include expanding outreach efforts to underserved communities and retooling mortgage lending options by lowering interest rates for low-to-moderate income buyers and considering rent and bill payment history in lieu of credit history. “Potentially having those rates lowered and providing more ability for families that may not have higher income streams to have some subsidies[...]

Posted 1 month ago

Mar 14

2024

Mortgage lending lags to Black applicants in Buffalo

This is the first of two stories on the impact of lending practices on homeownership by Black residents in Erie and Niagara counties. The second story, outlining possible solutions, is here. Black applicants are twice as likely to be denied a home mortgage as the overall population in Erie and Niagara counties, an Investigative Post analysis has found. What’s more, the region’s 18 percent rejection rate for Black applicants in 2022 was higher than in all but a handful of other major metro areas nationally.  The gap between the denial rate for Black applicants and the overall mortgage denial rate[...]

Posted 1 month ago

Mar 1

2024

Demolition threatened for Buffalo’s ‘house from hell’

Over a year after two dead bodies were found in a boarded-up Arkansas Street house, a city court judge is once again calling for demolition of the property.  Meanwhile, the owner is now facing similar issues with a burned-out house he owns in a different West Side neighborhood.  His attorney says Kwayo Ithe Bonkuka could afford to fix the problem properties if he gets back $80,000 he paid for a city-owned house, but never received ownership of. “If we enter into an agreement, money will be transferred back for properties,” attorney Daniel Tarantino said in a recent Housing Court appearance.[...]

Posted 2 months ago

Feb 23

2024

Downtown Buffalo hostel facing quick eviction

Hostel Buffalo-Niagara at 667 Main Street in downtown Buffalo. Buffalo’s downtown hostel was notified this week that it must evacuate the Main Street building its occupied for nearly 30 years so stabilization work can begin on the hostel and an adjacent structure Initially, the hostel was given until March 1 to vacate. But by the end of  Friday, in response to concerns raised by the hostel, the city extended the deadline until March 25 – although representatives for the hostel are saying it’s still not enough time. “We feel heard for right now, but we need more and we want[...]

Posted 2 months ago

Feb 22

2024

Attorney General investigating Buffalo landlords

A state Attorney General’s probe into lead poisoning is focused on a group believed to own or manage more than 200 Buffalo properties – at least 25 of which were cited for lead-related violations, and at least 11 of which were homes to children who have tested positive for high lead levels, according to court papers. The nearly year-long investigation was disclosed in court papers filed Friday by Attorney General Letitia James’ office. The filings describe the landlord/management group as “a tangled web of limited liability companies, corporations, and individuals,” who appear to operate out of a boarded-up building on[...]

Posted 2 months ago
Investigative Post

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