Veterans Outreach Center's Liberty Landing Provides 33 Units of Supportive Housing for Veterans and Families
Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - the Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of Veteran Outreach Center's Liberty Landing, a $10.4 million development with 33 units of supportive housing for veterans and families in the Rochester area. The project aligns with the Governor's Finger Lakes Forward initiative by increasing access to quality affordable housing that allows residents to live independently.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to New Yorkers who dutifully served our nation and have an obligation to assist them during their time of need, and this $10.4 million project does just that," Governor Cuomo said. "Supportive housing developments like Liberty Landing are providing our veterans and their families with safe, stable homes and access to the supportive services they can rely on to not only succeed but thrive."
"We thank the service of our veterans by ensuring that they and their families have the support and stability they deserve, and that includes affordable and supportive housing," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The opening of VOC Liberty Landing in Rochester is yet another example of how New York State is committed to serving those who have served our country."
VOC Liberty Landing consists of a single four-story building on the vacant site of a former warehouse in downtown Rochester's Center City Grove Place neighborhood. All apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income.
Four apartments are designed to be fully accessible for individuals with mobility impairments and two designed to meet the needs of those who are hearing or visually impaired. Ten apartments are reserved for veterans with disabilities.
Building amenities include community and exercise rooms, laundry facilities, computer area and resident storage space. Veterans Outreach Center will provide supportive services to veterans, including financial counseling; employment and job training; wellness services; and peer-to-peer mentoring. Supportive services and rental assistance are funded through the Governor's Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
Developed by Conifer Realty, LLC, VOC Liberty Landing is located directly across from a Regional Transit Service bus stop, which will provide easy access to employment opportunities, pharmacies, childcare centers and health, banking and veterans' services.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal's financing for VOC Liberty Landing included federal low-income housing tax credits that generated $5.3 million in equity and an additional $3.3 million in subsidy. Additional financing was provided by the city Rochester and the Federal Home Loan Bank.
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "We are so pleased to welcome 33 families and veterans to their new home at in Rochester's VOC Liberty Landing. The services offered by the Veterans Outreach Center will ensure that residents have immediate access to the care that they need to remain safely housed and establish successful and enriching lives. Governor Cuomo's investment in expanding supportive housing is generating meaningful change for New Yorkers struggling with housing instability and building stronger communities for all."
OTDA Commissioner Mike Hein said, "All New Yorkers deserve the dignity that is offered by safe, stable housing -especially those individuals who served our nation. Liberty Landing will bring new hope for veterans in the Rochester area by providing them with affordable housing and an array of supportive services they can utilize to address underlying issues that contributed to their housing stability. Projects like this reaffirm Governor Cuomo's tireless commitment to addressing the issue of homelessness in our communities."
Veterans Outreach Center Executive Director and U.S. Army Veteran Laura Stradley said, "We are very excited to be able to provide much-needed housing for local veterans and families. Housing is the foundation for anyone to get back on their feet. Without a stable place to live, everything else suffers. Our thanks go to Conifer for collaborating on this initiative to help our nation's heroes."
Conifer Chairman Tim Fournier said, "It has been our pleasure to work in partnership with the Veterans Outreach Center for the last five years to fulfill a need to provide safe, decent, affordable housing for our veterans. We believe our values are aligned and together are committed to providing 'A Home for Possibilities' here at Liberty Landing, making a positive impact on people's lives every day."
Senator Jeremy Cooney said, "This new development comes at a critical time for our veterans in Rochester as we recover from the pandemic. After serving our nation, veterans deserve to live full and independent lives in safe and affordable spaces. We are committed to making sure New York provides the best quality of life for those who have ensured our liberty at home."
Assembly Member Demond Meeks said, "Countless families and low-income workers have struggled like they never have before these past two years. Affordable housing developments like these will provide the kind of support that many marginalized families and individuals have been without for too long. I also know that Liberty Landing only represents one step on a greater journey for the many disaffected individuals in our communities. The pandemic has only emphasized the current issues with Rochester's living conditions. Issues that will continue to affect struggling residents long after the pandemic until they are addressed. A safe and stable home is one of the most basic of necessities that should be guaranteed to everyone. I will continue to stand in solidarity with our impoverished and our numerous homeless in Rochester until housing insecurity is something they no longer have to fear."
Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, "Safe, quality and affordable housing is a fundamental human right, which is why we must put housing first. VOC Liberty Landing provides our community an opportunity to guarantee that right for our residents while also supporting our veterans, the men and women who swore an oath to protect all of our rights. I want to thank Conifer Realty and the Veterans Outreach Center for bringing this wonderful development to our city and helping us create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities."
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $8 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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