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LISC's work in the University District began in 2000 with a partnership with Kensington Bailey Neighborhood Housing Services (now UDCDA). Our efforts there expanded in 2012 when LISC collaborated with the Westminster Foundation on its Buffalo Promise Neighborhood plan. The Westminster Foundation led a cross-sector effort to improve educational outcomes in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood by focusing on Westminster Charter School, Highgate Heights P.S. 80, and Bennett High School. The effort united 20 partner groups from the education, non-profit, government and private sectors to develop a comprehensive strategy that would simultaneously address the needs for housing, childcare, public safety, recreation, and commercial corridor revitalization.
LISC was able to provide support with community engagement and quality of life planning, as well as connections to our National Resources, including the Community Safety Initiative and Education Finance Center. LISC also provided a $1 million line of credit to Promise partner, Belmont Housing Resources for WNY, to finance the acquisition, rehabilitation and resale of ten formerly vacant single family homes.
Currently, LISC works closely with the University District Community Development Association to support their neighborhood revitalization efforts. LISC Section IV support enabled UDCDA to hire a Community Development & Planning director who has spearheaded a myriad of initiatives, including streetscape improvement projects, community gardens, public art, and commercial corridor revitalization initiatives. Our MetroEdge program has also helped UDCDA secure government funding from the Better Buffalo Fund to launch their “Better on Bailey” initiative
The Westminster Foundation led a cross-sector partnership comprised of the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Police Department, Buffalo Urban League, research partners from the University of Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI), and several community groups to address crime.
MetroEdge provided market research support to the University District Community Development Association, helping secure government funding through the Better Buffalo Fund for commercial corridor revitalization projects. With this funding, UDCDA recently launched its "Better on Bailey" initiative.
Bailey Fights Blight is a collaborative project being spearheaded by the Bailey Avenue Business Association that seeks to board up and secure blighted and vacant storefronts along Bailey Avenue, while incorporating public art as a way to beautify the neighborhood, re-imagine these properties, and help redevelop the commercial corridor’s identity and sense of place.