October 3, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Substantial Renovation of Two Affordable Housing Developments in Buffalo for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Governor Cuomo Announces Substantial Renovation of Two Affordable Housing Developments in Buffalo for Seniors and People with Disabilities

$25 Million Redevelopment of Riverview Manor Apartments and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens

Investment Supports State's 'Health across All Policies and Age-Friendly State' Initiatives by Preserving Affordable Homes for Seniors

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the $25 million renovation and preservation of Buffalo's Riverview Manor Apartments and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens. Together, the developments offer 210 affordable homes for seniors and people with disabilities and also provide social service support programs.

"As Buffalo continues to grow, it's important that we improve the housing stock and make it possible for all residents to share in the city's revival, especially seniors and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes," Governor Cuomo said. "Riverview Manor Apartments and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens offer affordable homes that can make all the difference to the health, security and peace of mind for Buffalo's seniors."

"Everyone deserves the dignity of a good home, and this is especially important for seniors and those with disabilities across New York," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The renovation and preservation of Riverview Manor Apartments and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens will help to ensure more housing options in Buffalo, while providing access to essential services to allow seniors to live independently. We will continue making sure quality of life is second to none for older New Yorkers through targeted investments in affordable and supportive housing."

The redevelopment of Riverview Manor Apartments and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens is part of the Governor's commitment to provide all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing through his unprecedented $20 billion, five-year housing plan. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multi-family and single-family housing and community development initiatives to make housing accessible and combat homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 homes with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) has invested more than $763 million to create or preserve more than 4,400 affordable homes and apartments in the state's Western Region, including nearly $224 million in the city of Buffalo to house about 5,800 people.

Originally built in 1978, Piotr Stadnitski Gardens is an 11-story building with 100 one-bedroom apartments. Riverview Manor Apartments, constructed in 1979, is a 12-story building with 110 one-bedroom apartments. Both buildings were designated as affordable housing for elderly and disabled households under the federal Section 202 program. The state's investment was used to finance the acquisition and renovation of the developments to keep them affordable and in good condition over the long term.

The apartments will continue to be covered by a project-based Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to ensure that rent remains affordable for current and future tenants. All units are set aside for households with at least one member aged 55 or older, or a person with a disability of any age, with incomes at or below 60 percent of the Area Medium Income.

Renovations of the buildings included roof replacement, updated elevator service, landscaping improvements, increased security measures, and new lobby and community room finishes. Individual apartment updates included new flooring and lighting, updated kitchen and bathroom appliances, and fresh paint. All renovations were completed without displacing any of the tenants.

Riverview Manor Apartments is located at 8 Hertel Avenue on the Niagara River waterfront, adjacent to the Tow Path Park, with the Niagara Thruway (Interstate 190) to the east. Several public bus routes run near the property. Piotr Stadnitski Gardens, located at 100 Beck Street, is east of downtown Buffalo in the Broadway/Filmore neighborhood. Several public bus routes have local stops just to the west and south of the building.

The developers are MDG Design + Construction, LLC (MDG), Smith & Henzy Advisory Group, Inc., and KMX Group. Social service support for tenants of Piotr Stadnitski Gardens is provided by People Inc., which assists the residents with financial stability, social connections, health and wellness programs and access to community-based support services. On-site services include help in obtaining benefits and entitlements, referrals to community support programs, education, monitoring of need and follow-up. Riverview Manor Apartments residents also receive help with certifications for public benefits and referrals to the appropriate agencies to better assist their specific needs.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided $7.5 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $7.8 million in equity and an additional $7.6 million in subsidy.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The 210 senior and disabled residents of Riverview Manor Apartments and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens can now live safely, securely and affordably in newly renovated buildings with access to social services. Governor Cuomo's commitment to seeing his ambitious housing plan through to completion, in concert with his pledge to make New York the first age-friendly state, is creating opportunity across the board for seniors and is ensuring that as we invest in cities like Buffalo, no one is left behind."

Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Renovating these buildings and keeping them affordable to Buffalo's lower-income seniors will improve the residents' standard of living, without increasing their housing costs. Governor Cuomo's Age-Friendly State and Health Across All Policies initiatives are helping older New Yorkers remain in their communities, close to friends, family and services, improving their health and quality of life."

Greg Olsen, Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging said, "Access to safe, affordable housing is critical to living with autonomy in the community. This latest investment will help the older residents of Buffalo's Riverview Manor and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens stay connected to the vital community resources they need to remain healthy and engaged, and furthers New York's commitment as the first age-friendly state in the nation."

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "These two renovation projects will continue to provide City of Buffalo seniors with safe, affordable housing options, while maintaining a sense of community and fellowship. I'm pleased to see New York State dedicating resources that prioritize senior living and know that these apartments will bring a newfound sense of security and comfort to those who call them home."

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "Affordable housing for low income elderly and disabled citizens is the cornerstone of a compassionate and caring community. This $25 million renovation of the Riverview Manor and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens Apartments will help ensure quality housing and social services for these city residents for years to come."

Assembly Member Robin Schimminger said, "As part of the 140th Assembly District, I am pleased that the Riverview Manor apartments at the foot of Hertel Avenue overlooking the Niagara River in the City of Buffalo have been renovated to sustain their viability in the long run. In addition to providing valuable living space for elderly and disabled residents, they offer valuable programs to enrich the lives of those who live there. I was especially pleased that the work on the project was done without displacing any of the tenants."

Erie County Exec Marc Poloncarz said, "Affordable housing is a big concern for our local senior population. The investment at Riverview Manor and Stadnitski Gardens provides low-income seniors with beautified and upgraded affordable apartments as well as renovations to the building and grounds. This is a great success for the over 200 seniors living there, who will have greater access to community services as well along with access to transportation. This project makes it easier for these seniors to age in place while still being active in the community."

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, "As Mayor of an AARP-designated "Age-Friendly City," I am keenly aware of Buffalo's growing need for affordable senior housing. Twenty-seven percent of our population is age 55 and over, a number that will continue to increase, so it is imperative that we address the current and future housing needs of our older residents. These 210 completely renovated apartments will provide the updated, affordable housing options so many of our seniors need."

Michael T. Rooney, Jr., principal of MDG Design + Construction, said, "We are thrilled to celebrate the completion of Riverview Manor and Piotr Stadnitski Gardens today, two developments that provide critical affordable housing to the Buffalo community. As our first project in the Upstate region, we are grateful to our incredible partners at HCR, Smith & Henzy, and KMX who share our passion and enabled us to bring our experience and resources to Buffalo. The renovations to apartments and shared spaces will ensure residents have safe and quality homes they are proud to live in."

Tim Henzy, Principal and Owner of Smith & Henzy Advisory Group, said, "Smith & Henzy is honored to be able to be a part of the extraordinary redevelopment of Buffalo. We appreciate the contributions from both the City of Buffalo and NYSHCR. We extend our gratitude to the staff of both entities for their assistance with our project."

Rhonda Frederick, President & CEO of People Inc., said, "People Inc. is proud to bring our long history of supportive services for older adults to the Piotr Stadnitski 'family.' When RM & PSG Developer LLC approached us about being part of this exciting community, we jumped at the chance. This is a group who truly cares about their tenants and strives for exceptional quality housing and support services. They have certainly succeeded with that goal. Congratulations!"

Health Across All Policies and Age-Friendly State Initiative

Health Across All Policies is a collaborative approach that integrates health considerations into policymaking across all sectors to improve community health and wellness, recognizing that a community's greatest health challenges are complex and often linked with other societal issues that extend beyond healthcare and traditional public health activities. To successfully improve the health of all communities, health improvement strategies must target social determinants of health and other complex factors that are often the responsibility of non-health partners such as housing, transportation, education, environment, parks and economic development.

As directed by the Governor, this initiative is initially focusing efforts on creating age-friendly communities and policies. Incorporating policies that promote healthy aging will help State agencies to consider the needs of all populations and environments in which people live as they develop and implement new programs. The long-term goal is to engage all New York State agencies in a collaborative approach to embed health improvement and healthy aging policies as a focus of decision-making within all agencies. Learn more here.

About MDG Design + Construction, LLC

MDG Design + Construction (MDG) is a leading real estate firm that develops, constructs, and manages quality affordable housing. MDG specializes in the moderate rehabilitation and new construction of residential apartment buildings in New York, New Jersey, and Florida, and is the industry leader in occupied rehabilitations. For nearly 30 years, our hands-on approach and people-first philosophy has resulted in effective collaborations with developers, tenant organizations, community groups, and staff to produce high quality homes that residents are proud to live in. To date, MDG has created or preserved 17,500 units of affordable housing and is responsible for over $1.7 billion in construction and development. Learn more at www.mdgny.com.

About Smith & Henzy Advisory Group, Inc.

Smith & Henzy was founded by Darren Smith and Tim Henzy as a boutique advisory firm whose sole purpose is to provide support to non-profit organizations and for-profit developers to plan, implement, and complete their affordable development projects. Together they have 30 years of experience working in the affordable housing and finance industry. The firm's primary focus over the last eight years has been advising, financing, and developing affordable housing in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Chicago, California and Washington DC.

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