‘Project Slumlord’ works to fight blight in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Members of Project Slumlord are fighting to save their neighborhoods. They want to eliminate blight in Buffalo.

“There are properties that are owned by landlords who don’t live in proximity to the house, don’t live in the house and they don’t pay attention to the kind of tenants they get, nor do they pay attention to property maintenance,” Patty Macdonald, the coordinator of Project Slumlord said.

She says rundown and vacant properties impact the safety of the community.

Buffalo Councilman David Francyzk agrees it’s a big issue.

“All of the problems in the city stem from bad housing: drug dealing, criminal activity, abuse to people inside the house.” Franczyk said. “The city has to pay to board up or demolish these houses and it’s just a burden on the neighborhoods.”

Macdonald plans to bring four resolutions before the common council in February in an effort to combat housing issues.

She would like to create a second housing court and an open data website that reveals the history of a property.

“It’s very difficult to get complete data and it’s very difficult to get data in one place. What we would like to see is an open data program,” she said.

Another proposal will ask for stronger enforcement of current housing laws.

Lastly, Macdonald will propose that code enforcers receive extra training.

Councilman Franczyk supports it.

“We don’t want these things falling through the cracks. We want follow up,” he said. “It’s going to be an ongoing battle, but hopefully we can turn the corner.”

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