Housing in Buffalo
Whether you are relocating from across the country or just across town, these resources will help you secure housing ahead of service.
Find housing before you start service
You will be required to be living within the state of New York for the first day of service to allow you to focus on building relationships with your teammates, immerse yourself in training and adjust to your new neighborhood before the school year begins.
When to start looking
When signing a lease, please make sure your move-in date occurs prior to registration day. Registration typically takes place during the last week of July or the first week of August.
You should start looking for apartments in May/June and secure a lease by mid-July at the latest.
Deciding where to live
We have several neighborhoods in Buffalo that are close in proximity to our partner schools. We recommend considering the following neighborhoods:
- West Side
- Lower West Side
- Elmwood Village
- North Buffalo
We recommend avoiding the following areas (further out from schools):
- South Buffalo
Our schools are all within a 15-minute drive of each other:
- West Buffalo Charter School – West Side
- Enterprise Charter School – Downtown
- Persistence Prep Charter School – Downtown
- Buffalo Collegiate Charter School – North Buffalo
We don’t have a ton of apartment buildings in Buffalo – most people rent the upper and lower floors of houses. Rent can vary between $700 – $1,100 for a two to three bedroom upper or lower unit. West Side and Lower West Side are the cheapest areas to live in.
We also have a partnership with Collegiate Village (student housing complex, but it can tend to be a little more expense than other options (around $600-$700 per person). However, they’re full furnished, and offer individual leases.
Please reach out to your Service Year Adviser for more information.
We recommend finding roommates through our pre-service Facebook group.
If you’re concerned about your budget, you should consider having at least one, maybe two roommates – the more roommates you have, the cheaper your rent will cost.
Budgeting for housing
Members find housing through online posting sites, word of mouth and sometimes on the City Year Facebook group (current members advertising their apartments). Postings should outline who to contact to learn more about the property, costs and lease terms.
When renting an apartment, ask about the following fees as they frequently apply.
- Broker’s fee – typically one month’s rent or a percentage or the annual lease
- Security deposit – typically one month’s rent, returned at the end of the lease if the property’s condition is maintained
- First month’s rent – typically due upon signing of the lease agreement
- Last month’s rent – may be requested upon signing of the lease agreement
Some utilities are included in the price of rent, so be sure to ask your landlord. When viewing apartments, most landlords or current tenants will gladly tell you the average price of utilities, so don’t be afraid to ask. It is also helpful to ask what utilities the house uses, such as gas or electric heat. Some units and buildings include laundry, for free or a cost, while others are located near laundromats.
You will need an account with National Fuel for gas, and National Grid for electricity. Most households use Spectrum for internet service.
Learn more about your bi-weekly stipend and the various benefits – both during and after service.
Whether you’re new to our city or have lived in Buffalo for several years, there are always new and exciting things to experience here.