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Home > City Services > Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Do I get help with my rent?
  2. How low is "low-income?" What are the income limits?
  3. What developments are available? Can I wait for the development I want?
  4. How do I qualify?
  5. What is this screening process?
  6. What can I do if my application is denied? 
  7. How long will it take before I can get an apartment?  
  8. Are there ways to speed up the process?
  9. What else should I know?
  10. Does the BMHA provide emergency housing?
  11. Need more information?

Do I get help with my rent
Yes. Public housing is government assisted rental apartments for low-income families. The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority manages those apartments in the City of Buffalo. If you meet our low-income guidelines, you may be able to move into a BMHA apartment. What do you pay? Normally you will be expected to pay 30% of your income for rent. And most utilities are included.

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How low is "low-income?" What are the income limits?

One person $ 37,050
Two persons $42,350
Three persons $47,650
Four persons $52,900
Five persons $57,150
Six persons $61,400
(Income Limits are subject to change annually.)

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What developments are available? Can I wait for the development I want?

The BMHA has a wide range of apartments located throughout the City of Buffalo. You may select any development you wish, provided there are apartments in the development that fit your family size & type.

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How do I qualify?

You must meet the low-income limits for the number of persons in your family, and you must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.

If you’re interested, call 855-6774 or visit the BMHA Housing Assistance Office, 245 Elmwood Avenue to obtain and/or file an application. After your application is received, you will be mailed an offer letter that lists the developments offers available to you and the estimated waiting times for a unit to become available. You will select the development you prefer and be placed on the wait list for that site. When your name rises to the top of the list, you’ll be invited for an interview and undergo a screening process.

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What is this screening process?

We screen all persons and families to make sure they will be good neighbors. We make sure they will pay their rent and care for their apartment. Good sense, fairness and the law requires that the BMHA make its best effort to screen out people who will not be good tenants and neighbors for the rest of the BMHA community. The screening factors include:

  • how well you currently pay your bills and meet your financial obligations
  • how well you care for your current apartment or dwelling
  • if you show current habits or behavior that might negatively affect the health, safety and welfare of other residents
  • if you have a criminal record
  • your ability to meet the terms and conditions of the apartment lease

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What can I do if my application is denied?

You may request an Informal Hearing which may be conducted by staff or by a Tenant Review Board. You may bring representation with you and any additional documentation you feel we should consider. If your application remains denied, a formal appeals process is available.

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How long will it take before I can get an apartment?

The entire BMHA application process can take from 30 days to several months or longer. Your wait time is affected by:

  • the number of applicants already on the wait list for your size and type apartment at the development you choose
  • the number of available apartments that meet your needs in the development you choose
  • any documented preferences that may move you up the wait list (see below)
  • your on-time appearance for appointments and interviews, and your ability to bring all the documentation we request.

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Are there ways to speed up the process?

If you have special circumstances, we may be able to give you preference, move you up on the list and shorten your wait. You may qualify for preferences if you:

  • are a displaced person or family from a Federal declared disaster situation
  • have been displaced from housing due to government sponsored improvements or redevelopment

NOTE: We can’t just take your word for these preferences. You must supply valid proof from appropriate sources.

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What else should I know?

The fastest moving wait lists are the 2 and 3 bedroom family and the elderly lists. There are simply more apartments, of these types, available. There are usually very few apartments available for non-elderly singles. There are a limited number of four bedroom apartments available, and a very long wait list.

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Does the BMHA provide emergency housinq?

No. All families placed into BMHA apartments are selected from the wait list in proper order.

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Need more information?

For more information or to request an application contact:
The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority
Housing Assistance Office
245 Elmwood Avenue • Buffalo, NY 14222
855-6774