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Public Meeting on the Future of McCarley Gardens

Click here to see the flyer distributed to residents of McCarley Gardens, the HUD-subsidized moderate income housing controlled by Reverend Michael Chapman of St John Baptist Church. “Help shape the Fruit Belt’s Future,” the flyer reads. The meeting is being called “to provide and update on McCarley Gardens and UB, discuss any issues and concerns, and discuss assistance needed in the relocation process.”

In April, 2010, at the height of UB2020-mania, a piece of paper was signed supposedly securing the sale of the 150-family units to the UB Foundation for $15 million. All part of the plan to move the UB medical school from it’s current location across from the VA Hospital into the downtown medical corridor by Buffalo General.  Click here to see a news clip of the event with a cameo by former UB President John “Suitcase” Simpson. Grandiose plans were trotted out. The place was packed.

But such a move would necessitate the relocation of 150 families, some of whom have lived at McCarley for decades.

Interestingly, a HUD spokesperson tells us today that Chapman has still not even filed the voluminous amount of paperwork required for such a transaction to be considered. In addition, one of the biggest concerns at HUD is that the residents must support such a sale. Without the support of the tenants, we’re told that HUD would not support the deal. It’s clear that some residents are against the plan.

There is also the thorny fact that the Oak-Michigan Housing Development Fund Company, Inc.—Chapman’s entity that holds the HUD contract—signed this renewal on December 1, 2005 to run for 20 years. Artvoice obtained the contract by placing a FOIL request with HUD.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 5, from 6-8pm at the Rev. Dr. Bennet Smith, Sr. Family Life Center, 833 Michigan Avenue.



  • Bruce Beyer

    Another freaking boondoggle being perpetrated against East Side residents. This goes hand in hand with the other “pay to play” schemes being dealt out to poor and working people by sky pilots in the name of “faith based initiatives”. Next thing you know they will offer buyouts to residents and another neighborhood will be destroyed. Thank you Artvoice for keeping this issue before your readership.

  • Saltecks

    Remember when UB was first looking to expand its footprint. The first choice was to expand the Campus into the Audubon Golf course and the adjacent parts of University Heights . The locals objected. So they dropped the idea and looked elsewhere. In the end they moved to Amherst instead. Who won and who lost in the long term?

  • Jonathan Wellinton-Fidrych III

    Why must you obstructionists keep getting in the way of the bold and exciting new initiatives being promoted by those of us who are better and smarter than you? (Remember it’s not conceit when we really are better than you.) This fabulous new medical Fantasia is the last hope for the future of Western New York. Now we need John Simpson more than ever.

  • John B.Simpson

    Jonathan W-F3: how I miss the polo with you and Jerry and Bink and the Chadster! But how I enjoy the golden handshake–wish you were here! Remember, it’s ALWAYS progress when the people you evict are on the dusky side of the color scale. Besides, most of them descend from nomadic peoples.

  • @Salteks: Interesting comment. When was the proposal to expand UB around the south campus? I’m curious what “footprint” in University Heights they were looking to expand into.