Just over one and a half years ago, New York's Kathy Hochul announced an entire suite of community assistance programs aimed to help improve the lives of people who live on Buffalo's east side, along with helping to rebuild neighborhoods that had been systematically and historically neglected by local, county, and state officials for decades.

One of those programs, the Buffalo East Homeowner Assistance Fund, or BEHAF, has been rolling since August 2022, and it has done quite a bit to help homeowners and residents who have had a whole host of issues.

The BEHAF program works a lot like the Homeowner Assistance Fund that the Empire State made available for New Yorkers who were having trouble staying up to date on their property-related financial obligations due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

BEHAF Program Results

Officials have recently been talking about the success of programs like BEHAF.

Those who qualify for the program can receive up to $50,000 to help get caught up on those housing-related bills. These bills include mortgage payments, taxes, water and sewer bills, and more. The exact amount of assistance available will depend on how much the homeowner owes, with the maximum payment being no more than $50,000.

Because this program can help with various issues, the results have varied depending on the individual needs. Over the 18 months or so, for example, Buffalo residents who were behind on their water bills had received nearly $4 million in payments to get caught up on their water bills.

How Can I Apply For BEHAF?

This program can provide financial assistance to the legal owners of 1 to 4-family structures who live in these buildings as their primary residence. The property must also be inside one of the following target zip code areas:

  • 14204, 14206, 14208, 14209, 14210, 14211, 14212, 14214, and 14215

Unlike other assistance programs, BEHAF does not have any income guidelines. You may be eligible for assistance if you live in one of the target zip codes.

Homeowners must provide proof of ownership, documentation of the debts they owe, and any other forms that New York State may require.

To apply for BEHAF, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has partnered with a local non-profit law firm to help the people of East Buffalo to help people determine if they qualify and provide technical assistance to complete the application. You can contact The Western New York Law Center if you think you are eligible.

You can also check the NYS BEHAF website right here for additional information.

Make sure you hurry because the program ends on August 31, 2024.

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