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Home > City Departments > Real Estate > Urban Homestead Program

Urban Homestead Program

There are, within the City of Buffalo, areas designated as Urban Renewal Areas (URA’s) and Comprehensive Code Enforcement Areas (CCE’s). The Homestead Map and the Homestead Street Listing detail URA and CCE areas.

Properties that are within these designated boundaries are eligible for inclusion in the Urban Homestead Program, with conditions: the property is not needed for public purposes and no qualified buyer has attempted to purchase the property. A sale takes precedence over a homestead. Applicants can acquire property in these areas for one Dollar ($1.00) plus the required closing costs.

There are three ways to participate in the Urban Homestead Program.  Each requires a completed REQUEST TO ACQUIRE CITY OWNED PROPERTY form:

  • This request asks that a purchaser provide some basic information to the City before a purchase file is opened. The information required is specific to residential structure or vacant lot acquisition. The REQUEST must be submitted to the Division of Real Estate for review and release by the Land Use Planning Committee.
  • If the Land Use Planning Committee determines that the property is needed for public purpose or development and can not be released, the Division of Real Estate will notify the interested party.


Vacant Lot Next To Existing Residence

If the property is released for sale by the Land Use Planning Committee, the following is required:

  • An applicant must own and occupy a residential property next to a City owned vacant lot.
  • The applicant must be current on all city and county property taxes, water bills, sewer bills, and user fees.
  • No other liens owed to the City of Buffalo.
  • No property code violations on any property owned.
  • The applicant will be required to clean and improve the vacant parcel within six (6) months.
  • The property is maintained in a sanitary manner for at least 36 months.

Vacant Lot(s) For New Home Construction

If the property is released for sale by the Land Use Planning Committee, the following is required:

  • An applicant must provide development, construction, and financial plans sufficient to erect and maintain a residence.
  • The specified structure must be erected on the premises within twelve (12) months and must be occupied by the homesteader for a minimum of thirty-six (36) months.