The BMHA Perry Choice Neighborhood (PCN) planning initiative is a collaborative led by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) and the University at Buffalo Center for Urban Studies. A plan has been developed for transforming the Perry Choice Neighborhood into a vibrant community of opportunity, which functions as a platform or springboard that enables residents to earn a living wage and that helps children do well in school, graduate on time, and go on to college and/or obtain a job with a meaningful career ladder. The Transformation Plan was informed by three core goals, which are viewed through the lens of neighborhood, housing, and people that inform all aspects of the planning process.
In 2011, out of 119 applicants nationwide, the BMHA Perry Choice Neighborhood initiative was one of 17 recipients to be awarded the first Planning Grant funding through the Office of Housing and Urban Development's new Choice Neighborhood Initiative. With the completion of the Perry Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan in June of 2013, the BMHA will be applying for an Implementation Grant from HUD in September of 2013.
The Perry Choice Neighborhood
The BMHA Perry Choice neighborhood is bounded by South Park on the south, Smith Street to the east, Sycamore to the north and Michigan Avenue to the west. The neighborhood is also the historical home of black Buffalonians, who shared this industrial-residential community with a mix of white ethnic groups—Polish, Italians, Germans, Canadians, British, Irish, Russians, Austrians, Hungarians, Swedish, Czechoslovakians, and Rumanians.
The Commodore Perry District
The Commodore Perry Community will be recreated and redevelopment as the heart of the Perry Choice Neighborhood—that prime destination that contains a cluster of goods, services, shops and stores not found elsewhere in the neighborhood. As such, it will become that "district" that anchors the entire community.
Because it is the neighborhood's prime destination, the most intense redevelopment activities will take place in the Commodore Perry Community. Not only this, but the housing, commercial, educational and supportive services activities taking place in Commodore Perry will catalyze development throughout the Perry Choice neighborhood and adjacent communities, including the Old First Ward.