Expedited Process Will Jump-Start Development in Broome and Madison County Towns Devastated By Severe Storms in 2011 and 2013
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $10.6 million in funding to develop shovel-ready, multi-family affordable housing projects in two communities in Upstate New York. A total of 77 units will be built in Broome and Madison Counties, where communities sustained significant losses of housing by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, as well as from severe storms and flooding that again devastated the region last year. The affordable housing projects are the first of their kind expedited by the State in order to more quickly provide residents with quality affordable housing following the storms.
"New Yorkers in nearly every corner of the state have seen more destruction from extreme weather during the past four years than anybody should experience in a lifetime – and residents in the Southern Tier and Central New York are no exception," Governor Cuomo said. "The State has been working tirelessly build back better than ever before, and these affordable housing projects will provide hundreds of residents not just a new home, but also a safer and more resilient shelter from the next storm.”
Both multi-family affordable housing projects are designed in concert with community-rebuilding plans for each town or city of the project so that additional benefits may be extended to each community. One project incorporates the construction of a community building that provides space for public events and a computer lab for its residents. Additional individual project features include a pavilion, nature trails, store fronts, laundry facilities and parking areas. To ensure resiliency, each project has been individually assessed to mitigate the threat of flooding.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery announced in August that the two agencies would partner to speed up the review and award process for eligible projects in storm-affected communities. In order to be eligible for an accelerated review, applicants needed to demonstrate that there was significant loss of housing within a one-mile radius of the proposed project, that the proposed project is consistent with a comprehensive community-rebuilding plan, that they had control of the development site and that they were prepared to start work as soon as funding was secured.
Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said, "Governor Cuomo has committed his agencies to helping New Yorkers who have seen their communities ravaged by 'once-a-century' storms recover. After each of these storms, the Governor said that we would be there for you until the necessary work is complete, and today's announcement is further proof of that commitment. We are proud to do our part to get our neighbors in these flood-damaged communities back into permanent homes."
Jamie Rubin, Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery, said, "Two years after Sandy, we continue our commitment to putting people back in their homes, helping small businesses recover, protecting critical infrastructure and assisting entire communities to build back better and stronger than before. These projects further that aim, and are important components to the State's recovery as a whole."
The two projects receiving expedited funding are:
Binghamton Gateway Homes (City of Binghamton, Broome County)
The Binghamton Gateway Homes project includes the rehabilitation of 11 existing buildings that will be substantially rehabilitated, plus one three-story mixed-use building that will be newly constructed. A total of 37 apartments will be available for occupancy, where 27 of those are in the rehabilitated buildings and ten in the new mixed-use building. At the request of the City of Binghamton, and to maintain the commercial district that the Binghamton Gateway Homes project is in, two commercial storefronts will also be included in the mixed-use building. All housing units will be affordable to households at or below 60 percent of area median income.
Binghamton Gateway Homes will be developed by First Ward Action Council, Inc. and is funded through $518,332 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $6,970,000 in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds from the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery.
Oneida Workforce Housing (City of Oneida, Madison County)
The Oneida Workforce Housing includes the construction of four two-story residential buildings that provide a total of 40 affordable housing units. The Oneida Workforce Housing project also includes the construction of a community building that will be used as public space for the residents, as well as the manager's office, maintenance office and fully-furnished computer room. Each of the housing buildings will have laundry facilities and storage space, and 60 on-site parking spaces will be established. Additionally, Oneida Workforce Housing will include an outdoor pavilion with raised garden planters for tenants' use, bike paths that are part of the Oneida Rail Trail System and sidewalks tying into existing city walks. Oneida Workforce Housing is located in the heart of the downtown district of the City of Oneida, and is within feet of the city's municipal core with the fire department, parks, city offices, police, farmer's market and local businesses nearby. Madison Transit bus systems have routes that run directly to Oneida Towers and City Hall – both of which are within easy walking distance of the site location. To ensure safe commute, the project will replace existing sidewalks with new sidewalks along both North Warner and Elm Streets.
Oneida Workforce Housing is located within a half-mile of the flood-impacted neighborhood known as "The Flats." The project site is located at 106 N. Warner Street in the City of Oneida, and is funded through $880,000 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and a $2,200,000 Low Income Housing Trust Fund loan.
Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “Broome and Madison Counties have been battered by storm after storm, and these projects will help residents in Binghamton and Oneida recover. I am pleased these federal funds are going to help communities build back stronger. These homes will help some of those who were hardest hit have a roof over their head, and one that is built to withstand the next storm.”
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said, “Access to stable and quality housing is essential for the health of our families and the economic vitality of our communities. Damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee destroyed the homes of many residents in communities that were hit hard. This funding announced today is a major investment in Broome and Madison counties and will help provide more residents with affordable housing as they continue to pick up the pieces and put their lives back together. I will continue to push for more federal investments like this that bridge the gap in affordable housing to assist more New Yorkers in need.”
Congressman Richard Hanna said, “Broome and Madison counties have been devastated by natural disasters in recent years. We must remain committed to rebuilding our communities better than before and ensure that our residents and small business owners have fully recovered from the storms and our local infrastructure is safe and secure.”
Senator Tom Libous said, “Recovery from the devastating flooding is still an ongoing effort in our region. I’m glad more funding will be available for some of our hardest hit areas. The mixed-use housing will give low income families in Binghamton an affordable, safe place to live.”
Senator David Valesky said, "The need for housing to replace the incredible damage done in The Flats in Oneida is undeniable. Governor Cuomo promised that we would rebuild and reinvest in our community, and this announcement is a continued demonstration of that commitment. I look forward to the completion of this project, which will provide safe, quality homes to many families."
Assemblyman William Magee said, “Because my district office is in Oneida, I know first-hand how hard last year’s floods hit our City, and how necessary it is that the town build back better and stronger. I thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to helping Madison County and all of Central New York recover from the severe weather that has really taken its toll the last few years.”
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "These investments are critical to helping the Southern Tier rebuild and rehabilitate its housing stock. Quality, affordable housing is an important part of our continued economic recovery and I'd like to thank the Governor for his concern and attention to our community."
City of Oneida Mayor Max Smith said, “Building new affordable housing in the heart of downtown Oneida will help us continue to rebuild after the devastating floods. Families and New Yorkers across Central New York will now have a place they can call home, which is invaluable. I thank Governor Cuomo for his dedicated efforts in providing us with the resources to build back better, and for everyone involved in making this a reality.”
John Becker, Chairman of The Madison County Board of Supervisors said, “Upstate was hit hard by storms and flooding, and this new housing will help so many families get back on their feet after facing an unprecedented amount of damage to their homes. I thank Governor Cuomo for supporting these efforts, which are helping us dramatically improve our communities and neighborhoods.”
About the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery
The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery was established in June 2013 to coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. Though it’s NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure programs, the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery invests more than $4 billion, made available through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, to better prepare New York for future extreme weather events.
About New York State Homes and Community Renewal
New York State Homes and Community Renewal consists of all the State's major housing and community renewal agencies, including the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. Homes and Community Renewal is in the second year of Governor Cuomo's $1 billion House New York program, which creates thousands of new units over five years, and is the largest investment in affordable housing in at least 15 years. House New York will also preserve thousands of Mitchell-Lama units, extending affordability for 40 years. The House New York initiative builds on the successes of unprecedented efforts to protect more than two million rent-regulated tenants, with the greatest strengthening of the State's rent laws in 30 years, along with the creation of the Tenant Protection Unit, which proactively audits and investigates landlord wrongdoing.
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