Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to creating programs that improve the quality of residential housing and developing sustainable projects to support Buffalo.

Media Kit


Stephanie J. Simeon, MUP
Executive Director

Originally from Brooklyn, Stephanie achieved her Masters in Urban Planning in 2005 from the University at Buffalo. This led her to taking on a leadership role as Executive Director at HOCN in 2007. Through her leadership, HOCN’s ambitious approach to fighting blight and property abandonment in Buffalo has made a real difference in improving whole neighborhoods. Her guidance has expanded HOCN’s work into Buffalo’s Eastside community as project manager and co-developer. These partnerships have given community groups the opportunity to strengthen the trust between residents and prospective developers by providing a platform for the community to have their voices heard, views considered, and needs acknowledged. When Stephanie’s not advocating for disenfranchised communities facing housing insecurities, she and her family live a minimalist low waste lifestyle in Buffalo.

Our Impact

Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. (HOCN) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exists to create, facilitate, and support housing and neighborhood development in Buffalo’s core communities.

HOCN is a designated Neighborhood Preservation Company for the core communities in Buffalo, including the Lower West Side, West Side, Upper West Side, Allentown, Pratt-Willert, Central, MLK Park, Fruit Belt, Elmwood Bryant, and parts of Masten Park, Genesee-Moselle, and Broadway Fillmore communities.

Learn More Here

Pictures in the Community


Clean Mobility Neighborhood Leadership Group

Clean Mobility refers to using transportation systems and vehicles that produce little to no harmful emissions and have a minimal environmental impact.

Home Ownership By Blacks in Buffalo Has Flatlined

Despite a plethora of programs encouraging Blacks to purchase their own homes, the ownership rate for African-Americans in Buffalo has barely budged over the past four decades.

Buffalo Water Releases First Public-Facing Service Line Inventory Map

The Buffalo Water Authority announced on Tuesday the early release of its first public-facing residential service line inventory map for residents in the City of Buffalo.

America’s Failing Drinking Water System

The drinking water system in the United States is broken in all kinds of ways. Chronic underinvestment has left water infrastructure outdated and on the verge of collapse in many places across the country.

Press Releases

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“Staff was wonderful, very courteous and kind and always returned calls and explained things where you could understand. I was very satisfied with staff. Jennifer and Lilian were lovely young ladies who were very kind and explained things.”

Irma Bolden
Homeowner Assisted Through Our Buffalo East Home Improvement Program

“The program has helped us because we had a great deal of repairs to do inside and out, but it was hard to do due to our income. We heard about the program and decided to apply, got accepted. We are very grateful to Heart of the City for the help.”

Judith Lopez
Homeowner Assisted Through Our Green and Healthy Homes Program

“Staff was wonderful and very helpful about the program. I got a new roof!! I’m very happy about that and the other work done.”

Rosie McDaniel
Homeowner Assisted Through Our Ellicott District Home Repair Program

“Really comfortable and fantastic experience. Everybody at Heart of the City was absolutely helpful and available whenever I needed anything. I love the house!”

Adam Weekly
Homeowner Assisted Through Our First-Time Home Buyer Program

“I was very pleased that I was able to have my needs taken care of and with respect on top of it. I’m very happy to tell all who ask about the work done to my home. Once the process was started, it rolled very smoothly. I also like that I was frequently checked up on by Heart of the City staff. Thank you so much for all of your dedication and hard work in this neighborhood. It is much appreciated!”

Anna Gonez
Homeowner Assisted Through Our Home Repair Assistance Program


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Contact for more Information

Stephanie J. Simeon, MUP
(716) 882-7661 ext. 200
135 Delaware Ave., Suite 503 Buffalo NY 14202