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City of Buffalo moving forward in condemning Elmwood apartment building

By Jeff Preval,


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The City of Buffalo is moving forward this week with its efforts to vacate an apartment building in the Elmwood Village, after the building was condemned last week.

Residents are being told to look for a new home and it’s proving to be a challenge.

According to a spokesperson for Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s Office, the city’s Department of Permit and Inspection Services will request an order for residents to vacate the Elmwood Heights apartment building on Elmwood Avenue. This is scheduled to happen in Buffalo Housing Court on Friday.

Elmwood Heights is a large apartment building in the heart of the Elmwood Village. The city condemned the building one week ago for various code violations. There are nearly 50 apartments in the building.

The city has issued hundreds of citations for unsafe living conditions such as smoke detectors not fully operational and there’s no certificate of inspection for the sprinkler system. Residents here say they are frustrated by the lack of information from the owner of the property and say they haven’t received any information from the city either.

“They’re really not telling us anything they’re just saying that the building is being condemned the landlord he’s not owning up to responsibility of being a landlord no one wants to answer the people who’s putting in for the request for the building to be fixed to repair,” said Honeycutt Shannon, a resident, “Now we’re all running with chickens with our head cut off because we don’t know what to do where to go who to talk to and like I said there’s really no information they’re giving us very little to go by.”

Shannon says he needs to find another home that will accept his Section 8 voucher, if not, he could lose that voucher and end up homeless.

Residents of Elmwood Heights have described the owner of the property a “slumlord” and many have continued to pay rent.

News 4 has attempted to contact lawyers for the owner of the property, but we haven’t had any luck.

Ransomville Manor, in Ransomville, Niagara County visited Elmwood Heights last week to talk to residents and potentially, find them alternative housing.

“I saw the clip Friday morning my heart went out and I thought is there anyway that we can help any of these folks and maybe get them here so they could have a place to stay and feel safe,” said Lori Wood, a case manager at Ransomville Manor.

Managers at Ransomville Manor say it can take several days and up to a week for the application process to play out.

“They would have to qualify for assisted living which some of them would some of them would not but we are hoping to reach out to them and let them know if they were interested in coming out to ransomville they could be screened,” said Addie Hutchinson, the administrator of Ransomville Manor, “Typically they need some type of assistance and that’s why they would end up coming to an assisted living whether it’s med management or help with meals, financials.”

News 4 hopes to learn more about the impacts to residents at that housing court hearing on Friday. The following Friday, the owner of Elmwood Heights will be arraigned on housing court violations.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here .

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