November 7, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $22 Million Upgrade of Colonial I Apartments in Rome

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $22 Million Upgrade of...

Redevelopment of Aging Complex Creates 83 Modern, Energy Efficient, Affordable Homes for Seniors 

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the $22 million upgrade and modernization of Colonial I Apartments in the city of Rome, creating 83 energy-efficient, affordable homes for elderly residents and those with physical disabilities.

"The comprehensive rehabilitation and modernization of Colonial I Apartments enhances the quality of life of its residents and provides them a safe place to call home," Governor Cuomo said. "These apartments are the perfect example of how affordable housing is key to moving the Mohawk Valley region forward while also strengthening the community in and around Rome."

The Governor's commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the State's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) has invested $122.8 million in the Mohawk Valley that has created or preserved more than 1,500 affordable homes for nearly 3,600 residents.

Built in 1966 by the Rome Housing Authority, Colonial I Apartments became increasingly deteriorated over time and inefficient building systems resulted in escalating energy costs. Colonial I Apartments, located on St. Peter's Avenue in central Rome, is close to retail businesses, and recreation opportunities. Construction started in spring of 2018.

The scope of rehabilitation work included extensive use of LED lighting to replace outdated fixtures; replacement of the heating plant with energy-efficient condensing boilers and adding temperature controls to each apartment; installing low-flow plumbing fixtures; roof replacement with added insulation; new windows and doors, and replacement of the exterior façade with an insulated panel system.

There are now nine accessible homes adapted for people with mobility impairment and four more for those with hearing or vision impairment. All apartments are affordable to households with incomes at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income. The 83 units of Section 8 Project Based Vouchers are provided through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Housing Assistance Payments contract. 

The development team consists of the Rome Housing Authority and Beacon Communities. HCR awarded federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits which leveraged over $18.8 million in equity for the project and $83,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Rome Housing Authority provided $2.1 million.

The State's investment in Colonial I Apartments also supports the Governor's 'Health Across All Policies and Age-Friendly State' initiative by preserving affordable homes for seniors. Theinitiative is a collaborative approach that integrates health considerations into policymaking across all sectors to improve community health and wellness. Learn more here

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The investment in Colonial I Apartments is another concrete example of the Governor's commitment to upgrading public housing and preserving senior housing in the Mohawk Valley and around the state. This is a strong vote of confidence in the future of Rome and its revitalization efforts. Colonial Apartments now has 83 safe, modern and more comfortable homes enabling residents to age in place in the community they love."

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Alicia Barton said, "The energy efficiency upgrades at Colonial I Apartments provide energy savings, a healthier place to live, comfort and affordability to our most vulnerable residents. This project exemplifies how integrating state resources provides high-quality benefits for our communities and environment as part of Governor Cuomo's commitment to reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to economy-wide carbon-neutrality."

Senator Joseph Griffo said, "As our neighborhoods continue to grow, it is imperative that we provide safe and quality housing options to all segments of the populations. This project will provide low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities in Rome with access to modern, energy efficient and affordable housing."

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttonschon said, "So many of us depend on affordable and accessible living spaces to ensure our family members and loved ones stay safe and independent as they grow older. That's why completion of much-needed renovations at Colonial I Apartments, which included upgrading several homes to better accommodate residents with mobility issues and hearing and vision impairments, is so important for families here in Rome. These upgrades are not only in line with the State's commitment to combating homelessness and increasing access to affordable, safe housing, but are also in line with our commitment to investing in sustainable, energy-efficient projects. I'm grateful to the Governor and Homers and Community Renewal for helping look out for Mohawk Valley families."

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said, "These upgrades to the Colonial I Apartments will provide 83 much-needed, affordable, modern living spaces for seniors and those with disabilities in Rome. As Oneida County continues to grow, housing options of all kinds are needed to meet the expanding demand. I thank Gov. Cuomo for providing the funding to make these improvements." 

Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said, "The $21 million renovation of Colonial I Apartments is remarkable. Not only has the building been modernized with updates to the HVAC, insulation and exterior façade improvements, but each apartment also has been completely renovated, providing residents with new flooring, appliances and freshly painted living spaces. Our thanks to Governor Cuomo and HCR for making this total renovation possible along with the Rome Housing Authority Board and administrative staff for their leadership and commitment to RHA facilities and residents.

Rome Housing Authority Executive Director Maureen Birmingham said, "The renovation project that has been completed on the Colonial I Apartments has been a very necessary need for a long time. To be able to give the tenants the improvements that were made, better accessibility, up to date equipment and new programs coming into the building has been our goal. The tenants endured temporary moves, noise, and inconveniences, however they were wonderful to deal with during this process. I feel, as do the tenants, that with all of the improvements, not only in their apartments, but in the common areas, it has made Colonial I more like a home."

Beacon Communities President Development Duncan Barrett said, "Beacon is proud to have partnered again with NYS Homes and Community Renewal and the Rome Housing Authority to rehabilitate and preserve this important senior citizen and disabled persons housing. The failing brick façade was a technically challenging construction problem, but the replacement with a high-performance insulated panel assured the long-term sustainability of the completed property. We are pleased to be able to provide some of the more vulnerable residents of the City of Rome with much needed, high quality affordable housing. We thank Governor Cuomo and HCR for partnering with us in ensuring safe and affordable housing is available to those who need it most."

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