The Editorial Board: Investment on Buffalo’s East Side could help to ease the rising costs of housing | Editorial

The Drexel lab has taken notice of East Side Avenues, praising its community-based real estate development training program as well as its other facets.

“Buffalo’s East Side Avenues initiative is one of the most ambitious community transformation efforts that we have seen in the United States,” Drexel co-authors Bruce Katz and Colin Higgins wrote.

The Biden administration’s infrastructure funding and Build Back Better agenda will undoubtedly bring more resources to the East Side initiative, which involves multiple approaches, including workforce training.

Further East Side revitalization could follow if the region adopts the transportation plan advocated by Rep. Brian Higgins, who has proposed installing a synchronized traffic signal system that could bring more vehicles to Buffalo’s radial street grid. With more traffic, other development would likely follow.

“There are a lot of opportunities there but it has to be with the right cast of characters” getting involved, the developer Daniel said of the East Side.

Some 95% of the population there lives in a neighborhood of concentrated poverty, according to UB’s Regional Institute. There are both great challenges and great opportunities. The East Side Avenues initiative gives the area a fighting chance, even as it could help in the essential task of keeping housing affordable in Erie County.

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