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Buffalo Co-Lab

skyline of Buffalo

Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.

Jenna Boland

Photo: Jenna Boland
Syracuse, NY
Western New York Law Center

The WNY Law Center is a nonprofit legal services organization of legal professionals representing low-income people in a full range of civil matters. They engage in direct representation of homeowners facing foreclosure as well as in fair lending advocacy and education. They also maintain the Online Resource Center with the Empire Justice Center.

Work Highlights

  • Researched and wrote a report with policy recommendations to the City of Buffalo on how it can track vacancies so as to contain the problems caused by abandoned properties in their neighborhoods.  
  • Created a PowerPoint presentation for public education about the dangers of vacant properties showing increased rates of fire and crime, lower property values and the costs and benefits of a vacant and abandoned property registry.
  • Traveled to other upstate cities to meet with housing advocates and elected officials to push for collective statewide action and legislation regarding vacancy issues.

In their words

“As far as Buffalo goes, I learned a lot about a mid-sized city that is trying to come back from losing half its population. I really grew to love the city. For my career path I am looking more into economics and policy work. Service learning is very important - I do service work on campus - and I think this program just reinforced that.”


“Jenna was bright and hard working.  Jenna wrote a report that we are in the process of finalizing.  We will be releasing the report in the next few weeks.  This report will be very valuable for our advocacy efforts in creating a vacant property registry for the City of Buffalo.”

Kate Lockhart,  
Western New York Law Center