For Immediate Release
March 27, 2018
Alexis Stephens, PolicyLink
Max Anderson, Open Buffalo
716-243-8777 x 103
BUFFALO SELECTED FOR NEW ANTI-DISPLACEMENT POLICY NETWORK
Ten cities will work together on strategies to fight displacement and build inclusive, prosperous cities.
BUFFALO, NY — PolicyLink has just announced that Buffalo has been selected for the first cohort of the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network. With support from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and The Kresge Foundation, the network of ten cities will work together over the next year on strategies to fight displacement and build inclusive, prosperous cities. The other cities selected for the cohort are: Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Denver, CO; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; San José, CA; Santa Fe, NM; and the twin cities of Minnesota (Minneapolis and Saint Paul).
“As leaders in their communities, the participants in this network are advancing strategies to halt the forces that are pushing low-income people and people of color out of cities, while creating the conditions for our cities and communities to thrive,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink. “We hope this network will be an opportunity to sharpen these strategies, develop new and innovative ideas, and amplify what is working so that we can spread success across the nation.”
Each city has created teams of up to six local leaders, including local mayors and city councilmembers, senior city staff, and community leaders. Buffalo’s team includes:
- Rahwa Ghirmatzion-Hill – Deputy Director, People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo)
- Keith Lucas – Director of Planning, Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency
- Andrea Ó Súilleabháin – Deputy Director, Partnership for the Public Good
- Franchelle Parker – Executive Director, Open Buffalo
- David A. Rivera – Niagara District Common Council Member
- Joyelle Tedeschi, MSW – Chief Program Officer, Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Service Center of WNY, Inc
The city teams will advance a range of strategies, including renter protections, community land trusts and community ownership models, commercial neighborhood stabilization, inclusionary zoning and other equitable development strategies. Participants will work to build the power, voice, and capacity of communities directly impacted by displacement in defining the challenges and advancing solutions.
Network activities will include virtual learning labs, individualized coaching sessions with national experts, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The network participants will first meet at the PolicyLink Equity Summit in Chicago, April 11-13, with one additional network gathering in Fall 2018.
Previous research conducted by PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) shows that reducing rent burdens, one of the main causes of displacement, would put $124 billion back in the pocketbooks of renters to spend in their local communities. Renters are the majority in the 100 largest cities in America, yet 51 percent are rent burdened (paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent). Over 60 percent of households led by women of color are rent burdened.
“I am thrilled to participate in the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network,” said Rivera. “This is a special opportunity for Buffalo to access national experts, share experiences with other cities, and collaborate within our city on the serious housing and rental issues we face.”
“Housing affordability is already a major challenge across our city: more than half of Buffalo households can’t afford their rent,” said Ó Súilleabháin. “By selecting Buffalo for this ten-city network, PolicyLink has recognized the critical moment that we are in.”
“This is a potential game-changer for our Buffalo,” said Parker. “Through this nationwide exchange, our cities can draw upon each other’s expertise and best practices to create more fair and inclusive communities.”
“Collaboration and immediate action are essential to ensure everyone in our community benefits from Buffalo's resurgence,” said Tedeschi. “The opportunity PolicyLink is providing to our city will help create effective policies and systems to create a healthy thriving community for all.”
“The Buffalo team will be working to deepen our ‘development without displacement’ framework that is rooted in the values of social justice and the necessity of making sure that all people live with dignity, have access to fresh food, clean water, good jobs, a safe place to live and access to beauty,” said Ghirmatzion-Hill.
The All-In Cities initiative provides policy research, data, and capacity-building and implementation support to city governments and community coalitions as they develop and implement tailored policy solutions to create stronger cities for all. All-In Cities includes: policy research and development through the All-In Cities Policy Toolkit; data disaggregated by race/ethnicity, income, neighborhood, and other demographics through the National Equity Atlas (the partnership between PolicyLink and PERE); and place-based engagements and field building, including the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network.
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®. For more information, visit PolicyLink.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Alexis Stephens (PolicyLink) at email@example.com or 267-872-3924, or Max Anderson (Open Buffalo) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-243-8777 x 103.