Downstate 'slumlords' on Fillmore Ave targeted by Common Council

Oct 16, 2019

The issue of bad out-of-town slumlords is surfacing again, with two alleged drug houses on Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo.

Fillmore District Common Councilmember David Franczyk has had problems with out-of-town slumlords for many years, even passing a law to get something done. Now, the retiring lawmaker wants City Hall and the Police Department to do something about two decrepit addresses on Fillmore between Peckham Street and Paderewski Drive.

He said two Brooklyn residents own the properties and don't seem to pay attention to city rules and to requests to fix up the buildings. Franczyk said neighbors are afraid of the residents and drug users.

This home at 565 Fillmore Ave. is being targeted by the Common Council.
Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

"I've been hearing from neighbors. They're afraid to come and speak about it. I saw it with my own eyes, driving near these properties at the neighbor's request who lives there," Franczyk said. "With two drug houses, slumlord houses, one is at 559 Fillmore Avenue. The other is 561 Fillmore Avenue, AKA 565 Fillmore."

Franczyk said problems start with a glass box entrance.

"Guy always standing there. It's a guy who I'm assuming is selling drugs, but the police are always there," he said. "There's arrest after arrest after arrest after arrest at this location. Prostitution, assaults, drug sales, it's using a lot of resources of our Police Department that, of course, we want them to do, but the fact is that they're putting the neighborhood at risk."

Franczyk told Tuesday's Council meeting there was a drug raid there as recently as Sunday afternoon.

Council President Darius Pridgen said the slumlord property just down the street from his home is also owned  by a downstate landlord fighting in Housing Court with a lawyer, but apparently who can't afford to put windows in an inhabited home.