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The Strategy: Development of a Transformative Plan

The Perry Choice Neighborhood is both a place and a new way of conceptualizing the re-creation and redevelopment of distressed communities. The strategy is to use a focus on people, housing and neighborhood to develop a plan that turns the Perry Choice neighborhood into a vibrant community of opportunity, where every person will have a chance to realize their full human potential. 

The Perry Choice neighborhood plan will consist of four interactive projects that are designed to re-create and redevelop the neighborhood and the Commodore Perry community.  As the central place and anchor community of the BMHA Perry Choice neighborhood, the most intense redevelopment activities will be carried out in this community.  Within this framework, four interactive projects will be developed.

The Foundation Project: Housing and Neighborhood

The foundation project is a housing and neighborhood development strategy which will be carried out in the Commodore Perry community. This project will be guided by LEED and green development standards and will re-create Commodore Perry as a mixed-income community that blends together market rate, affordable and public housing units.

The concept of place is central to the recreation and redevelopment of Commodore Perry. There are two interactive dimensions to this concept.  The first is the creation of a healthy community based on walkability, "complete streets", streetscaping and landscaping and shops and stores, along with a blend of market rate, affordable and public housing units.  The second dimension refers to the assemblage of those civic, social and human services that are essential to the daily lives of low to moderate income residents, thereby transforming Commodore Perry into a "complete," livable and socially functional community.

The People Strategy

Building on this neighborhood platform, three interrelated projects will be initiated to produce better economic opportunities for the residents and to improve the quality of their lives.

The Mini-Education Pipeline System

The first is the establishment of the Mini-Education Pipeline System, which will structure a continuum of education programs and supportive services designed to guide children from the cradle through college and/or a career. 

The pipeline strategy will focuses on establishing a Life Chances Center in the Commodore Perry community, which is structurally linked to three primary schools, including one charter school, and a high school. The center, which will service the entire Perry Choice neighborhood and adjacent communities, will consist of a Head Start, Early Head Start and an academic based day care program, an after-school program and an academic-based summer program.  It will also hold adult classes on a variety of topics.

A feeder system will be established so that children coming out of the early childhood center will attend one of the mini-education pipeline elementary schools (PS 37, PS 39 or King Center Charter, and after completing primary school, the children will be encouraged to attend East High.

To improve the quality of education in the pipeline schools, in-school and after-school academic support and education enrichment programs will be established, including the Life Chances after-school and summer academic enrichment programs.  Additionally, an in-school supportive services program will be established in each pipeline school to connect the students and their families varied health, human and social services, including personal and family guidance and counseling.  A management structure will be established, in each school, to construct a comprehensive and coordinated framework that integrates the supportive services with the academic support program and the school's education reform strategy.

Neighborhood-based System of Support Service Coordination

Families living in the Perry Choice neighborhood face many challenges making ends, dealing with the stress of residing in a high-risk environment, while trying to access those services needed to improve their economic circumstances and deal with varied health, human and social issues.  Concurrently, services have become more specialized, the organization of service systems is more complex and fragmented, and the various service providers are scattered across the city.  Moreover, although a number of the services needed by residents are located in the Perry Choice neighborhood; these services tend to be underutilized by residents.

Toward this end, a system of support service coordination will be established at the Perry Choice Neighborhood Life Chances Center. The center will have four main functions. 

It will function as a guide to connect residents to an array of services and resources found both inside and outside of the neighborhood. 

It will construct a monitoring system to determine if the residents received the needed services and/or resources and if the desired outcomes were achieved. 

The service coordination system will organize a collaborative of service providers in the Perry Choice Neighborhood, so that they can work together to build a more efficient and effective neighborhood-based service delivery system. A management system, similar to the one established in the schools, will be  established to manage the support service system and to integrate that system with the educational, business training and workforce development programs, including the Section 3 Business and Employee Development Center.

Within the neighborhood service component, a safety and security strategy will be formulated. A proactive approach based on a restorative justice framework will be developed that provides young people with options to street life by connecting them  to opportunities, supportive services, resources and activities that involved them in community building activities.

Section 3 Business and Employee Development Center

The goal of the Section 3 Business and Employee Development Center is to use the economic activities generated by the re-creation and redevelopment of the BMHA Perry Choice neighborhood to produce jobs and business opportunities for neighborhood residents.  Section 3 of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 will make it possible for residents to use these economic resources captured in the rebuilding of the Perry Choice neighborhood to enable residents to participate in the rebuilding of their own neighborhood, thereby rebuilding their lives in the process. 

The Section 3 Business and Employee Development Center will achieve this task in three interrelated ways:

  1. It will establish a business development program connected to a back-office component, where Section 3 Business owners can get help with contracting, bidding, accounting and other business supportive services.
  2. Residents in the Perry Choice neighborhood, along with other low income workers, will be given access to job training programs that prepare them to take advantage of work opportunities generated by the re-creation and redevelopment of the Perry Choice neighborhood.
  3. A Section 3 Compliance unit will be established to monitor Section 3 activities throughout the Greater Buffalo metropolitan region, thereby identifying job and business development opportunities throughout the metropolis.


The PCN Transformation Plan

The final Perry Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan is complete and has been submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To view the plan and other documents related to the 2013 HUD Choice Neighborhoods NOFA, please click here.

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