The UB Affordable Housing Initiative

Imagining. Innovating. Building.

Students work on a recent affordable housing rehab project in Buffalo.

Students work on a recent affordable housing rehab project in Buffalo.

Although the City of Buffalo has experienced a resurgence, it has inadequate high-quality housing that is affordable to a significant portion of its population. Like many cities, affordable housing in Buffalo has been heavily dependent on the availability of investments through low-income housing tax credits, the future availability of which is uncertain.

For nearly 50 years, the school has made practical work in, with and for communities in Buffalo and the upstate region a central experience in the education of student architects, planners and real estate developers.

Through coursework, research and participation in studios, architecture, real estate development and urban planning students and faculty will plan, design and ultimately build single-family or multi-family housing prototypes for underserved neighborhoods on Buffalo's East or West Side. Prototypes will be replicable both for Buffalo and cities like it across the U.S. The design-build project will also consider innovative design and construction materials and techniques. 

Cover image of the Strategy Document: UB Affordable Housing Initiative report.

Learn more about the global and national challenge of affordable housing and how we will address it through the UB Affordable Housing Initiative

 

Related News and Project Updates

1/28/19
Daniel B. Hess and collaborators explore the formation and socio-spatial trajectories of large housing estates in Europe. 
3/13/18

The issue of affordable housing is a nationwide concern, and University at Buffalo students are making strides to address the problem at home.

1/10/19
An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about senior citizens who waited in line for as long as 24 hours to try to secure one of the new, affordable senior housing units being built in South Philadelphia, and the growing need and long wait time for affordable housing for older adults throughout the nation, interviews Robert Silverman, professor of urban and regional planning in the UB School of Architecture and Planning. “Subsidies haven’t really kept pace with the growth in that population,” he said. “Without funding for affordable housing development, what developers have been left with as options – and what kinds of options they pursue – have really been market-rate housing that leans toward the high-rent market.” This article also appeared in Newsday.
5/16/19
Dylan Burns, who will graduate this week with his MArch/MUP degree, recently shared findings from his thesis research on design strategies for optimizing resiliency, affordability and lifespan values in infill housing. 
5/14/19

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

See student concepts in affordable housing developed under the direction of Brad Wales and the architecture program's Small Built Works program. Presented in partnership with PUSH Buffalo.

9/20/18
Robert Silverman  and collaborators explore the reasons for the failure (and success) of affordable housing experiences in the fastest shrinking cities in the US. 
6/25/18
An article on Fast Company’s Co.Design about Ford Motor Co.’s plan to remake Detroit – and itself – interviews Robert Silverman, professor of urban and regional planning in the UB School of Architecture and Planning, who said there has always been a concern that a flood of money will lead to swift gentrification. “The area has been teetering between revitalizing and falling by the wayside for years,” he says. “There are definitely places that will develop slower around the old station, so there’s probably still space for things like affordable housing and business development that smaller mom-and-pop and local businesses can be involved in.”
5/10/18
A story on WBFO-FM about its Racial Equality Project Wednesday night reports panelists included Henry Louis Taylor Jr., professor of urban and regional planning in the UB School of Architecture and Planning, and Melinda Cameron, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
3/4/19
An article in the Daily Orange, an independent Syracuse newspaper, about a $100 million redevelopment plan aimed at reinventing the East Adams neighborhood and combatting the intergenerational poverty that has existed there for decades interviews Robert Shibley, dean of the UB School of Architecture and Planning. “The project is exciting because it allows Syracuse to test a development model that could work in East Adams, as well as anywhere else. After all, if the project becomes successful, you could probably apply it to other places in Syracuse,” he said.
5/14/18
The School of Architecture and Planning recently gathered more than 150 leaders in affordable housing to consider policy, design and building solutions to an issue that has reached crisis proportions in cities across the U.S. 
4/6/18

A new initiative within the School of Architecture and Planning will begin addressing one of the largest needs facing U.S. cities today: affordable housing.

4/4/18

Take a quick look at our featured guests at next week's Affordable Housing Symposium convening leading scholars and practitioners to explore current conditions and future trends in housing policy, design and finance, and to consider new models for high-quality, affordable housing.

4/10/18

April 10, 2018

Explore current conditions and future trends in housing policy, design and finance, and consider new models for high-quality, affordable housing.

12/1/17

Urban planning professor Robert Silverman, in collaboration with Ken Chilton of the Department of Public Administration, Tennessee State University, are investigating the effects of single-family home real estate investment trusts (REITs) on regional housing markets, specifically in Nashville, TN. 

Donald Capoccia: Founding Supporter of UB's Affordable Housing Initiative

Donald Capoccia shows students his Essex Crossing mixed-use and affordable housing development in New York City.

Donald Capoccia shows students his Essex Crossing mixed-use and affordable housing development in New York City.

A developer with more than 30 years in New York City's affordable housing market, Donald Capoccia is an inspired community-builder. A 1978 graduate of UB, he came to the school with an interest in supporting hands-on research to develop new models for high-quality affordable housing. We thank Don for his vision and leadership of a program that will enrich the learning experience for our students, rethink affordable housing, and improve communities. 

Thank you to the following generous supporters of UB's Affordable Housing Initiative:

Don Capoccia  ’78 | Tim Dempsey ’94 | Franklin Dickinson ’85 | Scott Lesh ’95 | Alex Morris ’91, ’94 | Cannon Heyman & Weiss | LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton | Anonymous