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Fruit Belt Public Hearing Tonight (March 20)

The Fruit Belt/McCarley Gardens Housing Task Force will present a public hearing at 6:30pm tonight (March 20), at the Moot Center, 292 High Street. The event will include a panel discussion featuring former Common Council President George K. Arthur, VOICE Buffalo President Duane Diggs, Coalition for Economic Justice Organizing Director Micaela Shapiro-Shellaby, and UB graduate student in Global Gender Studies Josh Cerretti.

The evening is planned to educate Fruit Belt residents and the general public on the concept of a community benefits agreement for the medical campus community amid growing concern that rising property taxes linked to gentrification will squeeze out long-time residents.

On Tuesday, the Common Council approved Council President Darius Pridgen’s resolution to look into ways to shield longtime middle and low-income residents from the ill effects of gentrification, including reducing or freezing the assessed value of their homes. The resolution asks the city’s law department to inform the common council of “any federal or state laws that would potentially block a City attempt to limit property tax increases for long-term residents” by April 15.

Tonight’s meeting should help to inform the public and the Fruit Belt Advisory Committee to the Buffalo Common Council on many issues. That committee is scheduled to provide their ideas to the Council no later than June 3, according to Pridgen’s resolution.

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