Governor David A. Paterson today announced $119 million in housing and community renewal awards to help communities across the State develop affordable housing, revitalize downtowns, and upgrade water and sewer systems.
"Increasing access to quality affordable housing, revitalizing Main Streets, and improving the State's infrastructure are all critical components of New York's economic recovery and job-creation efforts," Governor Paterson said. "Our investment of $119 million will leverage more than $382 million in additional resources from our partners in the private sector and Federal and local governments, providing more than $500 million in economic activity that will improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout New York."
The funding will help building owners, developers and local governments:
• Construct or rehabilitate 2,549 affordable housing units for working families, seniors, and people with disabilities, including more than 200 units of supportive housing;
• Revitalize the central business districts of 35 cities, towns, and villages;
• Create 121 homeownership opportunities;
• Build or improve public health facilities, senior citizen centers and child care centers that will benefit more than 56,000 residents of New York.
Additionally, the awards are expected to create or support at least 1,550 jobs, according to an economic impact formula from the National Association of Home Builders.
The funding was approved by New York's main housing agencies, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal and "nyhomes." The Governor ordered the consolidation of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal and nyhomes in January to increase efficiency and save State resources. The two agencies are now operating under one management structure and are better equipped to strategically align programs to impact communities.
Brian Lawlor, Commissioner of DHCR and President/CEO of "nyhomes" said: "The grants approved today under Governor Paterson's leadership will assist projects that have been true collaborative efforts, using resources from State, local, Federal agencies as well as private sector investments. As we proceed with the integration of the State's major housing agencies, coordinating scarce resources will help us to more efficiently deliver our programs and services to more New Yorkers, enhancing their impact while lowering costs. The award process this year presented a number of challenges, including heightened competition from a large number of high-quality projects and decreased funding, due to the State's economic condition. More than 400 applications for funding were received, and awards were granted to 130 projects."
The funding awards announced to today include:
• Center Court in Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls Housing Authority received $2.4 million in funding and $1.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (which will generate $11.2 million in equity). The project, a financing collaboration between State, federal, city and private investors, will create 100 units of affordable housing and feature Energy Star rated heating and air conditioning systems, laundry facilities and appliances, as well as energy daylight sensors and water conserving fixtures.
• Homes of Syracuse in Syracuse. The Syracuse Housing Authority received $2.4 million in funding and $1 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (which will generate $8 million in equity). The project is part of the City of Syracuse's Southside Revitalization Plan and will create 50 affordable housing units, including six fully accessible units and two units adapted for people with hearing or vision impairments. The apartments will feature Energy-Star rated appliances, Green Label flooring, and low VOC paints.
• Cohoes Falls Apartments in Cohoes. The Community Builders, Inc. received $554,000 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (which will generate $4.3 million in equity). The development is the rehabilitation of an existing HUD subsidized project comprised of several buildings. It will result in 66 affordable apartments and a community building for residents. The project will feature Energy-Star appliances, an outdoor patio area, and four units designed for persons with a mobility impairment and four for persons with hearing or vision impairment.
• Sophia's House in Manhattan. Sisters of Charity Housing Development Corporation received $2.4 million in funding and $1.1 million in Low Income Housing Credits (which will generate $9.5 million in equity). The development is a New York New York III project and is done in collaboration with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation Development's How Income Rental Program. It will provide 50 affordable units and support services for low-income people and those with mental illness and chemical addictions. Apartments will feature Energy-Star appliances, a library, computer room, and laundry facilities.
• Restore Church Avenue Program in Brooklyn. The Church Avenue District Management Association received $300,000 in New York Main Street funds that will leverage an additional $795,000 and help revitalize the Church Avenue neighborhood of Brooklyn. The Church Avenue Business Improvement District will use the funds to assist mixed-use buildings on Church Ave. from East 16th to East 19th Streets and produce eight commercial units.
• Wayne County Child Care Center in the Village of Newark. Wayne County received $750,000 in NYS CDBG funding to provide adequate pre-school and child care services to area families. The funding will leverage an additional $242,000 and will help the Candy Apple Pre School construct a new facility on a three-acre site donated by the Village of Newark. More than 72% of the school's current enrollment of 66 students are low and moderate-income families. The new facility will allow the school to increase enrollment to 91, as approved by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services.
Projects meet high energy-efficiency standards outlined in NYSHCR's Green Building Initiative. Features include Energy Star appliances, water conserving fixtures, Green Label Certified floor coverings, and environmentally friendly paints, sealers, and primers.
The awards include:
• $76 million in federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits and subsidies;
• $28 million through the New York State Community Development Block Grant
(NYS CDBG) program, which helps eligible municipalities provide affordable housing and expand economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income;
• $15 million from the New York Main Street program, which provides financial resources and technical assistance to strengthen the State's traditional Main Streets and neighborhoods;
Lists of award winners can be found at:
NYS CDBG awards:
NY Main Street awards:
The following statements were provided in support of these awards:
Michael F. Hogan, PhD, Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health (OMH), said: "I commend Governor Paterson for his efforts ensuring that these funds will be used to offer new housing opportunities for people with mental illness, the largest and most vulnerable group among New Yorkers with significant housing needs. For the people we serve, housing is a foundation of recovery. The projects demonstrate the ongoing and improving collaboration between DHCR and OMH."
Adolfo Carrion, Regional Administrator of the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), said: "HUD is pleased to be a partner with Governor Paterson and NYS DHCR Commissioner and "nyhomes" President/CEO Brian Lawlor to create and preserve affordable housing, and, just as importantly, expand economic opportunities and strengthen communities across this great State."
Duncan Barrett, President of the NYS Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), said: "The production and preservation of affordable housing is an important economic and job creation tool. NYSAFAH is pleased that the Governor and State's housing agencies are taking this step, which will benefit communities all across the State by providing more than 2,500 units of new affordable housing, creating new jobs and revitalizing downtown business districts."
Ted Houghton, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY), said: "Today's awards reaffirm the State's commitment to supportive housing, the cost-effective solution to ending homelessness. We're pleased that DHCR's collaboration with the Office of Mental Health continues to grow, with financing for four new residences for people with mental illness, including the first supportive housing DHCR has funded in Nassau County. The more than 200 units of supportive housing announced today are in addition to 277 supportive units already funded this year by the State's Housing Finance Agency. This lays a strong foundation for the State to further increase supportive housing development next year, both to house vulnerable New Yorkers and to reduce dependence on expensive institutional care in tough budget times."
Peter Baynes, Executive Director of the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), said: "Main streets are the heart of New York's communities. Revitalizing our commercial cores is an integral part of revitalizing the economy of the State as a whole. The CDBG and Main Street Awards programs have proven to be a success in helping city and village officials across New York renew their downtowns, bringing businesses, residents, and shoppers back into the historic and architecturally rich centers of our communities."