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Press Releases > Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative

Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative

Mayor Byron W. Brown announced today the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) calling on the locally-based non-profit community to assist the city in spearheading and designing a plan to reduce poverty in Buffalo.  During his 2016-2017 budget roll out earlier this year, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 10 cities will receive a total of $5 million in state grants and have access to a $20 million grant pool that matches private sector and foundation funding. As part of the first phase of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, Buffalo will receive $500,000 to develop a plan to fight poverty. The cities were chosen based on their concentrations of poverty and include Syracuse, Oswego, Utica, Binghamton, Oneonta, Buffalo, Utica, Elmira, Jamestown, Troy and Albany. Governor Cuomo modeled the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative after New York’s successful Anti-Poverty Program in Rochester, part of a broad coalition of state and local government, business and nonprofit representatives working together to redesign and coordinate efforts to address extreme poverty in the Rochester area.


In order to combat this very complex problem in Buffalo, Mayor Brown convened a Buffalo Poverty Task Force co-chaired by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes and State Senator Timothy Kennedy.

The Initiative will be administered in two steps:

  • Up to $300,000 may be spent on organizing developing a plan to reduce poverty.
  • The remaining funds will be spent on implementing the plan.

The City of Buffalo will accept responses from locally-based non-profit organizations. The organization must possess the capacity to coordinate, perform administrative activities, serve as a fiscal agent, facilitate discussions about the causes and impact of poverty, identify common challenges, and bring multiple stakeholders together to design a plan to reduce poverty in Buffalo.

The RFP can be found on the City of Buffalo’s website: http://www.city-buffalo.com/bids.