BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — A local real estate agent says his vision is to promote home ownership among people living in the East Buffalo community.
“Homeownership is a really big, big, big thing in my life. I believe in home ownership,” said Brian Bailey, Realtor, WNY Metro Roberts.
In the 14208 zip code, the average home price is over $137,000, but the average income is just over $33,000. More than half of the people living in the Jefferson Avenue community are renters.
“Take these properties for example, as you can see they need some work,” Bailey described.
Bailey sells primarily in downtown Buffalo and met me outside two Jefferson Avenue properties currently for sale.
And having a chance at home ownership in that community would provide “generational wealth.”
In our recent 7 News Buffalo Strong Conversation, Garnell Whitefield, who lost his mother Ruth in the Buffalo mass shooting, blames deep-rooted and historically racist policies for leading to a lack of homeownership in the community. of Jefferson Avenue and a lack of fairness.
“We had to subsidize our mother. She did not pass on wealth to us, as is done in the majority community and white communities. There is no wealth distributed among our family members that will give us a head start – that will give our children a head start – none of this is happening in our community,” remarked Whitefield.
“We have a lot of big companies that come here – developers, I should say it takes this land and instead of building houses, to be able to offer programs so that people increase property, they choose to build buildings so that they can make unaffordable rent,” Bailey explained. “Many of the clients who come to me are actually investors looking to buy a house to rent out to people instead of living in it and passing it on, creating generational wealth,”
Bailey says too many inner-city families are choosing to rent an apartment or house, putting money in a landlord’s pocket and denying themselves a chance to build a financial future for themselves.
“My big concern is why would you want to put the equity in someone else’s pocket when you can own a landlord and you can actually pay less than you pay in rent,” noted Bailey. “We need to start encouraging people to become homeowners so they can have generational wealth to pass on.”
Bailey tells me a lot of people don’t realize they could afford a house. But he says home ownership needs to be taught, just like he learned growing up in East Buffalo.
“We have a family home in Bailey that we own – well my grandfather – he bought it before anyone even thought of me – my father was a kid,” Bailey recalled.