Project Extends Affordability of 210 Senior Homes for 50 Years
Governor Cuomo announced the completion of Phase One of the $33.5 million total rehabilitation Ohav Sholom Apartments in Albany. The project, which is being funded through Governor’s $1 billion House NY program, allows the 210-unit building to remain affordable for its senior residents. With Phase One now complete, 48 tenants who were temporarily relocated during construction have now been able to return to their upgraded apartments.
"Ohav Sholom has a legacy of providing seniors with quality and affordable housing in the Capital Region and this project ensures this tradition continues," Governor Cuomo said. "This expansive rehabilitation project will not only improve quality of life, but it will also make the building far more sustainable and accessible for years to come."
The project, which has 75 construction jobs and is preserving seven permanent jobs, was carefully planned in five phases, as to not permanently displace the tenants of the large multifamily complex. Because of the extensive nature of the renovations, tenants were temporarily relocated into vacant apartments within the complex or nearby properties.
During the first four phases, work is focused on renovating the residential areas of the complex and improving sustainability and accessibility. The apartments will all have new kitchens and bathrooms equipped with Energy Star rated appliances, and other integrated sustainable improvements including a new HVAC system and energy efficient domestic hot water heated by a new vertical solar array.
Additionally, eleven units are being renovated to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and five units will accommodate hearing and visually impaired tenants. Other work includes the extension of the sprinkler system to cover all apartments, new exterior doors and windows, new roof and rain gutters, community space renovations and site work and paving including new fencing, landscaping, water and sewer lines and lighting.
As Phase Two progresses, 48 more apartments will undergo the transformation and welcome more tenants by spring 2016. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2017.
To finance the project, New York Homes and Community Renewal provided $15.6 million in Housing Finance Agency (HFA) tax exempt bonds along with $1.5 million in HFA subsidy. The State of New York Mortgage Agency Mortgage Insurance Fund is providing insurance during the permanent loan period and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is providing a letter of credit, including interest, of more than $15.7 million. State financing also includes $2 million in a Homes for Working Families subsidy from Governor Cuomo's House NY initiative to create and preserve affordable housing. Under the Governor's $1 billion House NY program, the state's largest investment in affordable housing in more than a decade, 14,300 affordable housing units will be created and preserved by 2018.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin said, "Our work is about more than bricks, steel and concrete. It is about keeping Governor Cuomo's promise of providing great service to the people of this state. Here at Ohav Sholom these seniors are depending on us to keep this a safe, affordable community for them. This renovation will add years to the life of this complex and decades to its affordability. Tenants will remain secure and comfortable while being near their families in familiar surroundings. And our continued interagency partnership with NYSERDA, will further ensure long term sustainability by reducing energy costs. HCR's work at Ohav Sholom is a prime example of Governor Cuomo's strong commitment to affordable housing."
Ohav Sholom Resident Beau Greb said, "Omni undertook a massive project that is wonderful. This new apartment is light years better than the old one. It's safe, warm, comfortable, secure –and everything that seniors need is right here in the building. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for looking out for seniors – people who worked all their lives – and making sure this now beautiful complex continues to stays affordable. The rent we pay here is the best buy around."
Congressman Paul Tonko said, "Keeping subsidized housing in good condition now and for the future is essential to the healthy future of our citizens and our communities. I congratulate the tenants of Ohav Sholom on their homecoming and Omni Housing Development and Governor Cuomo for this achievement."
Senator Neil Breslin said, "As these senior residents know, their homes at Ohav Sholom are treasures that we could not afford to lose. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's House NY program and the dedication and experience of Omni, we are going to keep this housing in great repair, with fantastic upgrades and affordable for years to come."
Assemblymember John McDonald said, "Renovating a building of this size is a challenge under the best of terms. Renovating it with tenants in place, particularly senior citizens, presents even more of a challenge. Right now we have the best possible outcome: people coming home to what are essentially brand new apartments, with energy-efficient fixtures and features and the promise of a smooth progression for the next phases of reconstruction. I agree with the Governor – this is a great public investment in an irreplaceable resource."
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "The holidays can be as stressful as they are joyous and it is great to see such joy today in the Ohav Sholom complex. For decades this has been a safe and warm home for many seniors – a place for gatherings like this one and smaller ones with many generations of family. Thanks to Omni and Governor Cuomo's dedication to preserving affordable housing, there will be many more opportunities to gather like this right here at Ohav Sholom!"
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "Since work commenced back in June there's been an amazing amount of progress made. Not only have these first apartments been completely rebuilt, but the tenants are home for the holidays. I commend Omni for the care they have taken with the precious resource and the tenants and thank Governor Cuomo for his strong commitment to affordable housing."
Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan said, "Since it was built, Ohav Sholom has been a safe and affordable haven for the seniors who have lived here. Preserving it is a necessity, and thanks to high-quality and committed partners such as Omni and the determination of Governor Cuomo to protect and increase our affordable housing stock, the City of Albany has retained a precious resource. It is a pleasure to welcome these tenants home!"
President of Ohav Sholom Steven Levy said, "I am very pleased with how well the renovation is progressing. I know that the tenants who have moved into the new apartments are thrilled. I thank Robert, Kellie and Stacey of the Ohav Apartments staff, Omni and the construction workers for making sure this project is moving smoothly with the least possible inconvenience to the tenants."
COO of Omni Housing Development, LLC, Duncan Barrett said, "Omni Housing is proud to partner with Governor Cuomo, NYS Homes and Community Renewal and Ohav Sholom Housing Company to recreate and sustain this important affordable elderly housing complex for another 50 years."
NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, "As New York continues to advance Governor Cuomo's ambitious Reforming the Energy Vision goals, the State is looking to accelerate the growth of energy efficient affordable housing communities like this one. This ensures comfortable living space for residents, while helping to create a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers."
For additional information about Ohav Sholom Apartments visit: www.ohavsholomapts.org.
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