Dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of Veterans.
WNY Veterans Housing Coalition, Inc. (WNYVHC) was founded in 1987 to provide housing for homeless Veterans and Veterans with special needs. Since then the organization has expanded its focus by developing and managing residential housing for low income persons, severely disabled, homeless, and other persons who have special needs. Our main focus has been and always will be Veterans first.
The agency currently manages four apartment complexes consisting of 100 units in the City of Buffalo. It provides housing, case management and program services to individuals who might otherwise face homelessness.
What separates us from other property development and management organizations is the Continuum of Care component that provides case management services. Through a variety of supportive serves offered to tenants, the focus is on homeless prevention and referrals to agencies that can meet their needs. WNYVHC is at the forefront of setting a national trend in providing special needs housing for Veterans while addressing the complex factors and issues facing Veterans today.
Celebrating our 30th year in 2017, WNYVHC has assisted well over 20,000 Veterans with housing, case management, homeless prevention, employment and referrals.
In 1996, WNY Veterans Housing Coalition, Inc. was nationally recognized as a recipient of the prestigious “All American City Civic Empowerment Award” for its ability and reputation for implementing specialized and unique veteran and non-veteran special needs housing initiatives and partnerships commensurate with its Mission.
In May 2000, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, in Washington, D.C., presented a special recognition award for demonstrated leadership within the homeless provider network.
WNYVHC’s long term goal is to continue to aggressively search for new ways to improve housing and the quality of life for those who served when their country called and to assist other communities and organizations in addressing the needs of these special populations.
History of the Logo
The roof is a literal representation of shelter provided by the work of the coalition. The window represents the window of opportunity that the coalition provides its clients through a variety of service programs. The hands represent all races and the support system that is the core of the coalition’s mission. The star, placed slightly off center by design, is located in the sky representing the star of hope. The red striped background is the pattern taken from the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal. The wheat that embraces the heart of the symbol represents the cooperation with government to complete the concept of serving those in need.
Management and Development
Management consists of property development, property and facilities, finance, human resources, and case management that provide operational, administrative, and case management oversight of all activities.
One commercial operation rents storefront space from WNY Veterans Housing Coalition. There is a priority for WNYVHC to continue to develop more properties to accommodate Veterans with families and the increasing senior Veteran population.
The demand for excellence from the Governing Board has established a respected reputation locally, statewide, and nationally in the Veteran’s community.
Unlike private sector developers who have large unrestricted cash resources to initiate new development projects, the not-for-profit corporation has taken a very deliberate and conservative risk-taking approach in its developmental growth. The risk associated with development is carefully measured and reviewed by the organization’s Governing Board, whose composition is represented by a cadre of professionals with experience in a multitude of business and legal fields. This approach allows each project to reach the profit and return objectives necessary for achieving the maximum potential while competing in an environment of increased competition and diminishing funding sources.
WNYVHC governing board and development team members have successfully completed $19 Million in housing development since 1990.
Development and construction initiatives often include an assortment of unique Public and Private Sector Funding partnerships, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Municipal Bonds, Conventional Financing packages, and Federal Home Loan Bank programs. WNYVHC actively addresses the strong need for affordable housing in all segments of the Western New York Community.
1125 Main Street - Rehabilitated in 1989 and funded through New York State Housing Trust Fund and the City of Buffalo, this four floor facility operates 26 residential units, and a 3000 sq. ft. commercial area. Apartments range from two (2) bedroom, fourteen (14) one bedroom and ten (10) efficiency. This facility operates under a New York State Housing Trust Fund regulatory agreement. Fiscal audits and management and site reviews are conducted onsite annually.
Bowen Manor - This Capital Advance New Construction Program located at 17 West Utica Street, consists of a three (3) floor, 24 unit complexes which was dedicated in June 1993 and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Designed specifically for physically handicapped and disabled persons with low incomes, this complex consists of four (4) 2-bedroom units and twenty (20) 1-bedroom units with six (6) first floor apartment reserved for residents confined to wheelchairs. The complex has state-of-the art security monitoring and life safety systems, including automatic door openers and transmitters for the severely disabled. Compliance with HUD regulations and policies are strictly enforced through a series of yearly comprehensive performance reviews. This project is 100% subsidized.
Engine #16 Firehouse - This 130 year old historic building located at 1416 Main Street has been converted into a “Special Needs: facility. The building is a combination of rehabilitation and new construction and is fully accessible to people who are severely physically challenged. There are two (2) bedroom and seven (7) 1 bedroom units. The complex has 24 hour, in site “shared aide’ home care service. Funding for this project was provided by the New York State Homeless Housing Assistance Program, the City of Buffalo and the U/.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This facility has been in operation since 1995. The first floor commercial space is to be the Corporate Office for WNYVHC effective January 2012.
Stratford Arms Housing - Located at 25 W. Utica Street it also houses the WNYVHC office. The determination of WNYVHC, and the creative partnerships and support from both private and public sectors, turned a 110 year old historic brick hotel (Stratford Arms Hotel) into a forty-one (41) unit, four (4) – 2 bedroom, four (4) efficiencies, and 33 one bedroom fully accessible and affordable housing complex. Dedicated in June 1996, this project represents the final phase of a 3 phase development plan for 74 housing units bordering the West Utica and Main Street Rapid Transit Corridor. The $4.7 million housing development project was funded by partnerships which included the City of Buffalo, NY State Housing Trust Fund, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Key Bank Low Income Housing Tax Credit Corp. This project represents a key component in the City of Buffalo’s planned neighborhood renaissance movement and has a full complement of case management services and programming for homeless, low income and “at risk” veterans.
Shelter Plus Care Program
“Shelter + Care” is a subsidized sponsor based housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, administered by the Erie County Department of Mental Health, and managed by WNY Veterans Housing Coalition for persons who are chronically homeless, disabled, and low income as set by the HUD regulations.
This grant, awarded to WNYVHC in 1996, helps subsidize the housing and case management for as many as 40 clients, however, the grant can support more clients at times.
“Shelter + Care” provides much more than just rental assistance to qualified persons. It places a heavy emphasis on stabilizing and improving their personal situations through referrals and assistance in accessing public assistance, Social Security, Veterans benefits, vocational counseling and linkages to employment opportunities, facilitation of medical and psychiatric treatment, nutritional guidance and money management skill training. Accordingly, case managers require and assist program participants to fully comply with policies and regulations that apply to all other tenants. They also require that each participant maintain his/her ongoing treatment and/or counseling regimen, legal obligations, and other special requirements established by WNYVHC tailored to each participant’s individual situation and based on established short term & long term goals. The goal of the Program is to make our clients productive citizens and prevent future homelessness.
Veterans Placement Group of Buffalo/Niagara
The Veterans Placement Group of Buffalo was a grant provided through the John R. Oishei Foundation in collaboration with Goodwill Industries of WNY, Inc. and the Buffalo City Mission. The program provided employment, training and job search to all military Veterans. This service is a branch of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) and provided another level of service for WNYVHC to offer our Veteran population. While we are not currently involved in this program, we are proud to say that during our participation, and together with Goodwill and City Mission, we helped over 1,500 Veterans with employment opportunities.