Main Menu Main Content
Printer Friendly

The Story of Frank Soda and Clifford Scott

For over 75 years the Niagara Falls Housing Authority has been providing safe, secure, decent, and affordable housing for those individuals and families within the greater Niagara Falls community who have faced housing challenges.  The work of the NFHA is embodied in its simple Mission Statement:  “We empower. We enrich.  We build strong communities!”

Furthermore, among the highest priorities of the NFHA is resident satisfaction, and to this end the Authority conscientiously strives to establish and maintain a compassionate resident-centered environment within each of our unique residence communities.  With this goal in mind, the NFHA has set a standard for itself to provide cost effective, quality housing and quality of life programs for all our residents.  Throughout its history the NFHA has striven to be responsive to the needs of individuals of all backgrounds and serves as a vital resource to the greater Niagara Falls community.    

During the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, the NFHA constructed a variety of residence communities designed to address the housing challenges faced by low income families, individuals, the elderly, and the disabled.  During the last 30 years, the Authority has constructed two neighborhood community centers that provide essential services such as child care, after school tutoring, job training, and a variety of programs focused on the development of the critical skills that promote resident self-sufficiency.

In 2006, for what was probably its most ambitious endeavor, the NFHA was awarded a $20 million HOPE VI grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the demolition of the Center Court residency and its replacement with a 150-unit townhouse and single-family community.  This $80 million public/private partnership resulted in a transformational neighborhood commonly referred to as The Beloved Community.

Other public/private partnerships pursued by the NFHA have resulted in health clinics being established by Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center in the Highland Avenue neighborhood; the environmental cleanup of the former Tract II Highland Avenue site; and the sale of the former Renaissance Center on Highland Avenue for the establishment of a fresh food supermarket.  During the next five years, the NFHA seeks to expand its network of public/private partnerships in order to set into motion the factors leading to the commercial and economic revitalization of the Highland Avenue corridor.

With a concern for the total well-being of residents, the NFHA is currently involved in various capital projects.  At the Henry E. Wrobel high-rise apartment complex, a comprehensive bathroom renovation of all 250 units is under way.  A partnership with the New York Power Authority will provide new, energy efficient exterior and interior lighting at all of the residence communities. Also, the Authority has recently developed a partnership with a national energy-saving consortium that will result in reduced annual costs for electricity thus enabling the NFHA to reinvest the savings into resident services. 

For more than 75 years, the Niagara Falls Housing Authority has directed its activities toward achieving all of its Core Values which are:  (1) There is no growth without change.  (2) Every person can make a difference.  (3) Everyone has value.  (4) Understanding and appreciating diversity is essential to appreciating our world.  (5) People are empowered by taking responsibility for their choices. (6) A family, in all forms, is the foundation for the development of an individual.

Finally, in response to the challenges presented by the Coronavirus national health emergency, the NFHA will be submitting an application under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in order to secure the necessary funds to purchase infection test kits as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) for its low to moderate income residents.  The NFHA is working closely with the Niagara County Health Department, the area’s health care network, and the City of Niagara Falls to provide for the safety of its residents during the current health crisis.