Robert Quinn

Publication Date



Government, Economic Development


For many years the city of Buffalo has had far more housing units than households. Buffalo has experienced a precipitous population decline over the past fifty years. From 580,000 in 1950, Buffalo residents declined to 462,000 by 1970. In 2006, the population had dropped to 276,059. This flight from the city, a product of both suburbanization and the decline of the Rust Belt, has resulted in numerous vacant properties. With a weak housing market and continued population decline, the surplus of housing infrastructure will persist. Many of Buffalo’s policymakers, citizens, and nonprofit organizations have recognized the need to repair the urban fabric by attracting more people back to the core communities and decreasing the surplus housing stock and infrastructure. While potential solutions abound, the City has not formed a comprehensive plan to incorporate these disparate actors.