The Community First Alliance, which includes Fruit Belt residents and neighborhood-based organizations that have been organizing for years to make sure current and long-standing residents have a voice in development tied to the medical campus expansion.
A community land trust would give the community negotiating power to work with developers and ensure existing residents will have options to stay in the community. “If we control the process of who purchases those lots, we will be able to control rents, we will have development without displacement of our residents. That’s what’s key,” added Lott, who has lived in the Fruit Belt for more than six decades. “We want development, we want businesses, we need businesses in our community, but we don’t want to do it at the expense of dismantling what has been a viable, community spirit that we have built for many many years.”
A community land trust would also give Fruit Belt residents more negotiating power for one of its ultimate long-term goals: establishing a community benefits agreement with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus itself.
To RSVP for the community teach-in about a Fruit Belt land trust, contactHarper Bishop at 716 243 8777 Ext. 106 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.