This past Thursday, Buffalo's very own alt-newsweekly Artvoice came out with an expose on the City's gross misappropriation of HUD dollars. Link to the original.
(illustration on the right by Emil Novak, Artvoice)
The article makes the case that the City has laundered funds to pay the salaries of city employees, paid for expensive developments and apartment complexes, and generally spent the funds in a "scatter-shot" manner with incredibly little development designed to benefit low-income people. Flying in the face of one of LBJ's "War Against Poverty" programs, Buffalo has steadfastly refused to allocate its HUD money in a responsible and just way.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the City has not only ignored the ostensible purpose of Community Development Block Grants, it has also refused to understand that we know what we need where we live. The article makes it clear that public input on the City's use of HUD funds is completely ignored. Even as PUSH crashed the CDBG public hearing on Feb. 7th with 25 or so members, the City continued to ignore our calls for specific, achievable, and numeric goals for rehabilitation, weatherization, demolition, and deconstruction. Buffalo needs to recognize that people are policy-makers and implement our suggestions and solutions.
This just goes to show the how critical the need is for PUSH's Anti-Poverty Platform to be adopted by City officials as it provides specific, achievable goals and is designed to aid Buffalo's population of low-income people.
Posted on Fri, May 9, 2008