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.

Pushing the national conversation on quality, affordable housing

In 2018, 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. The symposium kicked off a new program at the school to design and build affordable housing prototypes for Buffalo and cities like it across the U.S.

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. 

Faculty publications and student work on affordable housing

10/29/19
These projects were part of a larger studio examining models for infill housing within two Buffalo neighborhoods, one of which was the Masten District.
10/29/19
Affordability is defined based on monthly costs, with reductions for incorporating solar gain & PV-generated energy, water collection, and food production. 
10/29/19
Bailey Green is an on-going community development initiative in the heart of Buffalo’s East Side led by professor of urban planning Hrioaki Hata.
10/29/19
Health Hostel provides temporary housing for those that may have just finished medical treatment of some sort or just need help navigating daily life activities.
10/29/19
The conceptual design developed by Alexa Russo, student, working with architecture professor Edward Steinfeld. The model was built in Spring 2018 by clinical assistant instructor Stephanie Cramer’s fourteen inclusive design students.
6/26/19
Professors of urban planning Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. and Robert Silverman join associate professor of urban planning Li Yin collaborated on the Buffalo Turning The Corner Initiative through the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership University at Buffalo Center for Urban Studies.
10/15/18
Korydon Smith, Tomà Berlanda and colleagues explore the pressing challenges and opportunities to be found in planning, designing, and constructing a healthy, equitable, and sustainable city. 
9/5/18
Urban planning professor Robert Silverman, PhD student Chihuangji Wang and collaborators examine the socio–spatial distribution of properties in single family home (SFR) real estate investment trusts (REIT) portfolios to determine if SFR REIT properties tend to cluster in distinct areas.
5/16/18
This studio, led by clinical assistant instructor of architecture Stephanie Cramer instructor worked with urban planning professor Hiroaki Hata’s neighborhood master plan to design homes that fitted the area’s narrow 30-foot lots.
1/1/18
Daniel B. Hess and collaborators explore the formation and socio-spatial trajectories of large housing estates in Europe. 
10/9/17
While lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults have a range of lived experiences, many grew up during a time when homosexuality and gender variance was denounced and criminalized.
9/1/17
Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, assistant professor of urban and regional planning, and Clifford Amoako explore informal housing dynamics in Kumasi, Ghana.
4/30/17
Professor and associate professor of urban planning Robert Silverman and Li Yin along with associate professor of social work Kelly Patterson examine the content and structure of the new affirmatively furthering fair housing mapping tool (AFFH-T) developed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of its new assessment of fair housing (AFH) process.
10/12/16
Working in close collaboration with the Buffalo Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Professor Edward Steinfeld’s studio developed proposals for new-build homes to be assembled by Habitat volunteers.
10/12/16
Working in close collaboration with the Buffalo Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Professor Edward Steinfeld’s studio developed proposals for new-build homes to be assembled by Habitat volunteers.
3/23/16
Robert Silverman, Li Yin and collaborators explore the reasons for the failure (and success) of affordable housing experiences in the fastest shrinking cities in the US. 

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

 

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