Video: Housing in Black & White -- a WBFO community conversation

May 9, 2018

"Housing in Black & White," broadcast on Facebook Live Wednesday night, brought together experts to discuss red-lining in Buffalo, affordability and other important issues.

They called for making the city's housing more livable, reforming housing court and addressing the serious health problems that result from lead paint, dust and cockroaches.

If you're looking for more information on affordability, here are some stats:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says that if someone pays more than 30 percent of household income for rent, it’s not affordable.

But a majority of renters across the U.S. paid 30 percent or more of their income on their rent bill. So clearly, there's a large problem nationwide.

How does Buffalo stack up?

  • The median gross monthly rent in Buffalo is $699.  A household would need income of at least $27,960 to meet the HUD affordability standard.
  • Some 40 percent of renters have incomes less than $20,000. The median household income in Buffalo is $31,918, according to the Census Bureau – meaning that half of the households fall below that level.
  • About 55 percent of Buffalo renter households pay more than the HUD standard. That’s worse than the 52.5 percent median for nearly 1,000 U.S. cities surveyed by the Federal Reserve. But it is better than the 56.7 median for peer cities such as Pontiac, Mich., and Syracuse.