WHAT WE DO
FLARE is truly a agency committed to the well-being of residents of the Buffalo community. For more than 42 years, FLARE, Inc. has devoted its energy to passionately advocating for the residents of the Masten Councilmatic District community. FLARE has a special interest in assisting economically, under-represented members of our fair city. Contact FLARE to inquire about Buffalo's Division of Neighborhood Development Housing Assistance/Office of Strategic Planning (OSP) Programs and the application process.
PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Emergency Loan Program
This program provides financial assistance to address emergency situations such as water service interruption or the repair of an individual component system that is in poor or dangerous condition. Additional eligible repair items include:
- Break in Sanitary System - part of the sanitary sewer system located underground from the City of Buffalo main sewer up to the house waste stack; that is, the house sewer and the house drain.
- Break in Water Service - The water service line that is eligible for repair or replacement shall mean that part of the main water supply line located underground from the City of Buffalo water main up to and including the house main shut off valve.
- Leaking Roof System - Assistance for repair of a leaking roof is available ONLY to very low-Income households, or to low-income elderly (62 years of age or older) or Disabled households. The program shall address the repair or replacement of a roof system that has significant deterioration so as to cause water infiltration into the habitable area of the dwelling.
- Electrical Hazards at Main Panel - The electrical system components that are eligible for repair or replacement shall be the main panel, the service entrance and drop, only.
- Hazardous Chimney - The chimney shall be eligible for replacement/removal only if it is in imminent danger of collapse.
- Water Meter Installation - Installation of a water meter and connection to existing water lines when a determination is made by the department of Public Works that a meter cannot be installed without damaging the existing lines.
- Defective Heating System - Replacement or Repair: Hot Air Furnaces, Hot Water or Steam Boilers
- Inoperable/Hazardous Unit - that is in need of complete replacement as determined by the Construction Analyst
- Cracked Heat Exchanger - complete replacement of the unit
- Cracked and/or Leaking Boiler Section - complete replacement of unit
- Deteriorated Housing or Jacket - complete replacement of unit
8. Defective Hot Water Heater - Replacement or Repair
9. Gas Line Repair - Owners who have a gas leak that has been verified by the utility provider may be eligible for assistance for repairs to the gas line. Applicants must provide the citation from the utility company as part of the application process.
THE CITY OF BUFFALO OFFICE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DENY ASSISTANCE UNDER THE EMERGENCY PROGRAM BASED ON THE CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY.
Target Street/Area Rehabilitation Loan Program
There are three (3) types of rehab loans offered by the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning.
- Very Low Deferred Loans - For households with incomes below 30% of the median - Ten (10) year mortgage on property with no monthly or annual payments required provided owner meets occupancy requirements for the period of the loan; balance payable will be reduced by twenty percent (20%) per year starting with the 6th anniversary of the closing date. Sale of property prior to end of loan period results in repayment of unforgiven portion.
- Principal Deferred Loans - For households with incomes between 30% and 50% of the median - Ten (10) year mortgage on property with owner occupancy requirements for term of loan; twenty-five percent (25%) of the principal loan amount will be amortized and repayable monthly at 0% interest over a ten year term; the remaining balance payable of seventy-five (75%) will be reduced by twenty percent (20%) per year starting with the 6th anniversary of the closing date, provided that monthly payments on the principal loan amount are current and owner maintains required residency.
- Principal Deferred Loans - For households with incomes between 50% and 80% of the median - Ten (10) year mortgage on property with owner occupancy requirements for term of the loan; fifty percent (50%) of the principal loan amount will be amortized and repayable monthly at 0% interest over a ten year term; the remaining balance payable of fifty percent (50%) will be reduced by twenty percent (20%) per year starting the 6th anniversary of the closing date, provided that monthly payments on the principal loan amount are current and owner maintains required residency.
These terms apply to the owner occupied Rehab Programs in Targeted Areas, Match Funds for AHC and DHCR Programs, and Emergency Assistance.
Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance - First-Time Homebuyers Program
The goal of the DPCC/First-Time Homebuyer's Program is to expand home-ownership opportunities by providing financial assistance to low and moderate income first-time homebuyers for closing costs related to the purchase of their first home. Funds are provided as an interest-free conditional grant/loan with a five-year term that is secured by a second mortgage on the property. You need not make monthly payments toward this loan unless your home is sold, or transferred before the end of the term. In such case, the full amount of the loan will have to be repaid. If you reside in the property as your principal residence for the full five years, and meet all other program obligations, at the end of the five-year term, the loan will be forgiven.
Funds up to $5,000 per structure are available to weatherize owner-occupied homes. The program is available to income-eligible owner occupants who meet program application guidelines and must be classified as one of the following: elderly (household income 80% or less of median income), disabled (household income 80% or less of median income), families with children (household income 80% or less of median income) or very-low income individuals or families (household income 50% or less of median income). Assistance can be provided for insulation, energy assessments, furnace/appliance assistance.
Home Grown Homeownership Program
Are you a first-time homebuyer looking to purchase a single or double family home in the City of Buffalo? Eligible low-income, first time homebuyers may be eligible to purchase a vacant home from the City of Buffalo Division of Real Estate and receive funding to make needed repairs to make the home code compliant and ready for move in. Fillmore Leroy Area Resident Inc. (FLARE) is currently assisting homebuyers with processing applications for City of Buffalo's Home Grown Homeownership (HGH) Program.
Assistance is only avialable for income eligible first-time homebuyers who are using a SONYMA Remodel NY Mortgage and looking to purchase a single or double family home from eligible properties at the City of Buffalo Division of Real Estate.
Funding assistance is provided by the City of Buffalo/Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency as a deferred payment, zero percent interest loan (conditional grant). Funding assistance will only fill the financing gap, if needed. Funding assistance may be available for rehabilitation costs, related soft costs, and down payment and closing cost assistance.
To qualify you must...
- Be an eligible first-time homebuyer (have never owned a home or have not owned a home during a three year period prior to purchase of home).
- Be prepared to purchase a single or double family house from the eligible city of Buffalo Division of Real Estate inventory, within the legal limits of the City of Buffalo, New York to be owned and occupied by the purchaser.
- Be pre-qualified for a SONYMA Remodel NY mortage (locally available from M&T Bank)
- Plan to occupy the house to be purchased for at least ten years
- Complete a HUD certified homebuyer education class, including programs available through Belmont Housing Resources, Buffalo Urban League, and West Side Neighborhood Housing Services.
- Have a household income of no less than 50% and no more than 80% of the area median income, based on family size (see chart below)
Household Size/Gross Annual Income (50-80% of AMI)
1/ $26,150 - $41,850
2/ $29,900 - $47,800
3/ $33,650 - $53,800
4/ $37,350 - $59,750
5/ $40,350 - $64,550
6/ $43,350 - $69,350
7/ $46,350 - $74,100
8/ $49,350 - $78,900
These income guidelines are based on 2018 numbers and are subject to change.
Applicants for all programs are required to supply support documentation to verify eligibility for the program (including proof of ownership, income, household size and composition, status of the city/county taxes, water bill and user fees).
ATTENTION – All Program Applicants.
Your application is not considered to be Complete and ready for presentation to the Program Administrator until all required documentation has been submitted. Please also note that our review of your documentation may lead to a request for additional information if further clarification regarding your status is needed. You will be advised in writing when your application is complete and we have determined that you are eligible to participate in an OSP sponsored program. If, prior to the closing of your loan/conditional grant, information becomes available that indicates that you do not qualify for assistance, the eligibility determination may be withdrawn.
Financial Assistance Programs – Income Documentation List
Current documentation, as applicable, must be provided for all individuals who live with you who are 18 years of age or older. You must provide at least 2 months of source documents evidencing annual income (e.g., wage statements, banking / interest statements, unemployment compensation statements) for the family.
Please provide, as applicable, the following documentation of your GROSS income –
- Pay statements documenting wages received for a minimum of two consecutive months from each employer (full and part time), including any Reserve Duty or National Guard income, for any and all household members who are employed.
- Note – You should submit a minimum of eight (8) consecutive pay statements for individuals who are paid bi-weekly and Twelve (12) statements for individuals who are paid weekly.
- A complete copy of your last year’s federal tax return - i.e. the 1040 form, w-2 statements and all schedules which were submitted with the return. This must be submitted for all applicants who are under 65 years of age who must file based on their total income. If you are working with an elderly client who has only income from Social Security (no pensions or any other source of income), we will not require a copy of the tax return if no return is filed.
- Your Social Security Award letter stating your monthly benefit for the current year (not more than 12 months old) - if you do not have a recent copy, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1231 and ask them to send you a copy of your current monthly benefit statement.
- Your Supplemental Security (SSI or SSD) Award letter stating your monthly benefit for the current year (not more than 12 months old) - if you do not have a recent copy, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1231 and ask them to send you a copy of your current monthly benefit statement.
- Your current monthly gross pension benefit pay statements (check receipt) (not more than 6 months old).
- Your current Public Assistance benefit statements covering a two month period (and, for any new housing or down payment and closing cost assistance program applicant, an acknowledgement from your caseworker that you have notified Social Services of your intent to purchase a home and a copy of the terms and conditions of any liens which they might attach to the property for benefits paid).
- Your current gross monthly or biweekly Railroad Retirement, and/or Veteran’s benefit statements covering a two month period.
- If you are divorced or legally separated, a complete copy of your divorce decree or separation agreement. If you are separated, but not legally, additional information regarding your marital status will be required; marriage certificate.
- Court ordered support letters, for dependent children or for yourself.
- Current unemployment benefit statements covering a two month period - including the starting date of payments and the projected end of the benefit year.
- Current disability benefit statements covering a two month period - including the starting date of payments and any information regarding the continuation or termination of payments.
- If you have children who (will) live in the house with you and who do not appear on your tax return, please provide birth certificates or a custody agreement.
- If you are self-employed, an itemized Income and Expense Statement form ending with the most recent quarter YTD, in addition to your filed complete federal tax returns for the last three years. In some cases, we may request an audited Profit and Loss statement. This information will be supplemented by the most recent two years filed tax returns.
- A completed Tenant Income and Statistical Report, signed by the Tenant.
- Your most recent bank statements for the previous six months for any and all accounts for all household members - if the account is held with another individual who is not a member of your household, please provide evidence (for example, a copy of the driver’s license) that that individual does not reside with you.
- If you are not now employed, have no income at all at this time, have had no income from any source for the past twelve months, and are currently totally dependent on another household member for your support, please provide a detailed notarized affidavit - specific language to be provided by the CBO.
Please note – The documentation noted above is a general description of the information that must be submitted in support of your application for financial assistance. Additional information may be requested if the information submitted is not sufficient to accurately determine household income.