August 26, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Groundbreaking for $22.8 Million Supportive Housing Development in Erie County

Governor Hochul Announces Groundbreaking for $22.8 Million Supportive Housing Development in Erie County

Angela's House in Cheektowaga to Provide 67 Apartments for Adults Over 55, including 21 Supportive Units  

State's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program Providing $3.6 Million to Redevelop Wing of the Historic Villa Maria Academy  

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the groundbreaking for Angela's House, a $22.8 million development that will transform a long-dormant wing of the historic Villa Maria Academy into affordable housing in the Erie County town of Cheektowaga. Funded in part by $3.6 million from the state's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, the project will redevelop the former all-girls high school into 67 affordable apartments, including 21 supportive units that will serve adults over the age of 55 who are grappling with housing insecurity.  

"All New Yorkers deserve a safe, stable place to live - especially seniors and older adults who have experienced homelessness," Governor Hochul said. "Angela's House will provide the affordable homes and supportive services that older adults in Erie County can use to address underlying issues that contributed to them experiencing housing insecurity. We remain committed to a brighter, more inclusive future as we rebuild New York, and projects like this one will help us to achieve that end."  

The project will redevelop a six-story Gothic Revival structure into 55 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments with all units affordable for those earning 60 percent of the area median income or less. Among these apartments will be 21 units with supportive services that will be reserved for adults 55 or older who are experiencing homelessness.  

Built in 1927 to house a boarding and day high school for the Felician Sisters of St. Francis, the wing of the building being redeveloped was formerly occupied by Villa Maria Academy, which closed in 2006. Delta Development of Western New York, Inc. is undertaking the project with CB-Emmanuel Realty.  

Funding for the work includes $3.6 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, $3.4 million through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal's (HCR) Supportive Housing Opportunity Program, $300,000 through the town of Cheektowaga, and $60,000 from NYSERDA. In addition, the project is receiving $8.8 million in low-income housing tax credit equity, $3.4 million in federal historic tax credit equity and $2.8 million in state historic tax credit equity. Operating funding will be provided through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative through the state Department of Health. 

Administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), the Homeless Housing Assistance Program provides capital grants and loans to not-for-profit corporations, charitable and religious organizations, and municipalities to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate housing for persons who are unable to secure adequate housing without special assistance. The grants are awarded through a competitive process by the New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, a public benefit corporation staffed by OTDA.  

OTDA Commissioner Mike Hein said, "Older adults should be able to age with dignity safely within their community and without the fear of housing insecurity. Angela's House will provide safe, affordable homes for these individuals and families, while breathing new life into a long-dormant wing of this historic campus. I applaud Governor Hochul's continued support for these important projects that help to address the root causes of homelessness throughout our state."  

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Our nearly $23 million investment in Angela's House is an example of what can be achieved when state and faith-based organizations dedicate their efforts to providing new homes for those who need them most. Thanks to our partnership with the Felician Sisters, CB Emmanuel Realty and Delta Development, the former Villa Maria Academy in Cheektowaga will be repurposed into 67 affordable and sustainable homes, including 21 with supportive services. Our efforts to fight homelessness and housing insecurity across the state depends on our partnerships with government, private and non-profit leaders. As we continue to navigate the COVID pandemic, this mission is more essential than ever." 

Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, "Safe and supportive housing is the foundation of good health, and I am confident that Angela's House will provide their residents with the care they need. I am proud of our continued efforts to move our state forward and provide New Yorkers with the security they need for a bright and healthy future."  

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "This groundbreaking signifies a renewed sense of promise and hope at the former Villa Maria Academy Angela's House will provide a safe and supportive space for those struggling with homelessness. I'm pleased to see New York State's and Governor Hochul's continued commitment to providing affordable housing opportunities statewide."  

Assemblywoman Monica Wallace said, "This project is yet another example for how government can work in partnership with the private sector to solve some of our most pressing social issues. By redeveloping the former Villa Maria Academy, we are providing affordable housing to dozens of vulnerable individuals and giving new life to a historic gem in our community. I thank Governor Hochul and my partners in state and local government for investing in Cheektowaga and working to ensure that our low-income neighbors, particularly seniors, have access to safe and affordable housing."  

Erie County Legislator Tim Meyers said, "As our community continues to rebuild from the pandemic, affordable housing projects like Angela's House will continue to play a significant role in our town and region's well-being. I am truly grateful for the support given by Governor Hochul and look forward to seeing what great change this investment can make for Cheektowaga and all of Erie County."  

Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski said, "I am excited to finally see this long-awaited housing project come to fruition. This project will provide much needed new and affordable housing options to the most vulnerable in the town of Cheektowaga, including seniors, and individuals with supportive needs. The revitalization and re-use of the former Villa Maria High School is an iconic landmark in the town of Cheektowaga and the Western New York region. This is an exciting project and I look forward to its completion."  

CB-Emmanuel Realty Managing Director and Co-Owner Benathan Upshaw said, "CB-Emmanuel is fortunate to once again partner with New York State on another affordable housing initiative in Western New York.  There are so many others to thank and recognize as these types of efforts involve so many community stakeholders, not the least of which in this instance is the town of Cheektowaga and various financial partners.  Angela's House will be a unique and transformative addition to an emerging neighborhood that I am confident will enhance the quality of life for so many."

Franciscan Felician Sisters of North America Sister Judith Marie Kubicki said, "The ground on which we stand is holy ground - ground that has been hallowed by 84 years of educating young women to realize their full potential. This day marks the beginning of a new path of ministering to seniors by offering affordable housing." 

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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