Niagara Gazette — Deal Realty has recently offered to help by marketing the houses — meant for low-income families — once repairs are complete.
Marie E. Hare, the vice president of Key Bank’s philanthropy and civic affairs division, said the company wanted to get involved because they see a lot of promise for the program.
The skills learned by program participants will have a lasting affect on the entire community, she said.
“This is training that you can’t take away from them,” Hare said. “They’ll have it forever and they’ll be able to obtain living wage job opportunities to take care of themselves and their families.”
Hare said that the participation of so many community partners — in particular the Oishei Foundation — gave the company confidence that there money would be put to good use.
“I know they do their due diligence before they support an organization,” Hare said.
Haid first approached the city’s Community Development department about a year ago to discuss the possibility of purchasing the homes at a discount for their purposes. Since then the city has created a formalized and streamlined process by which the Isaiah 61 Project and other organizations can choose from a list of available city-owned homes and purchase them for $500, so long as they agree to a list of conditions in place to protect the city’s interests.
Mayor Paul Dyster said the not-for-profit’s work creates real, measurable value for the city from assets that are a negative drain on municipal finances, but also changes the attitude of the entire neighborhood.
“Just as one house starting to go bad on an otherwise good street can turn the street in the wrong direction, one house that gets rehabilitated on an otherwise good street solidifies that entire neighborhood,” the mayor said.