Adaptive Re-Use of Historic Building Will Create 53 Affordable and Energy-Efficient Homes, Including 27 With Supportive Services for Formerly Homeless Veterans
Project Received $800,000 in Funding Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction on Huntington Apartments, a $24 million adaptive re-use of the 19th-century era Huntington Building in Seneca Falls. When complete, the development will feature 53 affordable apartments in an energy-efficient building, including 27 with supportive services for veterans in need of housing.
"Huntington Apartments will provide a new future to dozens of families and veterans while preserving a piece of Seneca Falls history," Governor Hochul said. "My administration is committed to harnessing the potential of community assets like the Huntington Building to boost the housing supply for families, increase quality of life, and create the vibrant, affordable communities that all New Yorkers deserve."
Located at the corner of Fall Street and the Veteran's Memorial Bridge, Huntington Apartments is being developed by Home Leasing and will utilize the existing three-story historic building, rebuild the previously demolished fourth story, while also incorporating an addition to the west side of the building. The completed development will consist of five studio apartments, 45 one-bedroom, and three two-bedroom apartments, with one unit set aside for the building's superintendent. There will be 31 apartments affordable to households earning at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income, with the remaining 21 apartments affordable to those at or below 60 percent of the AMI.
Supportive services and rental subsidies for 27 apartments will be provided by Eagle Star Housing and are funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance. Services being provided include case management, transportation services, connectivity to substance abuse, and medical and mental health services.
Huntington Apartments will meet EPA Energy Star Certified Homes V3.1 program and Enterprise Green Communities 2020 standards. All apartments will utilize Energy Star appliances and central air conditioning.
Today's announcement complements Governor Hochul's Housing Compact, a multi-faceted strategy designed to address New York's historic housing shortage by building 800,000 new homes over the next decade. The Housing Compact will encourage growth by removing barriers to housing production, incentivizing new construction, and setting local housing targets across every community. The Housing Compact follows last year's launch of the Governor's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
The redevelopment of Huntington Apartments is part of Seneca Falls' Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The town was selected as the Finger Lakes region winner of the $10 million DRI award in Round Four. The DRI serves as a component of the State's economic development policy by transforming downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers of activity that offer a high quality of life and attract businesses, jobs and economic and housing diversity.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal invested federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in Huntington Apartments that will generate $12.1 million in equity, as well as $3.7 million in subsidy. The New York State Historic Preservation Office provided $7.1 million in federal and state historic tax credits. The New York State Department of State provided $800,000 as part of the DRI, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $51,800 from its Multi-Family New Construction program. The Community Preservation Corporation, a nonprofit multifamily finance company, is providing a SONYMA-insured $475,000 permanent loan to support the project.
In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested over $20 million in Seneca County to create or preserve more than 200 affordable homes.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The adaptive re-use of the Huntington Building will preserve a remarkable 19th century structure that has been a presence in the community for generations, while creating affordable apartments for 53 households, including 27 with supportive services for veterans. This community-oriented development is an example of Governor Hochul's commitment to meeting the need for affordable homes across New York. We thank Home Leasing and our partners for their work in reaching this milestone."
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "This Downtown Revitalization Initiative project is the perfect example of how historic buildings can be readapted to meet the changing needs of a community. We know that investing in affordable housing helps our downtown communities thrive, and once completed, Huntington Apartments will provide high-quality, energy-efficient affordable housing to Seneca Falls residents and help transform the town into a premiere destination for New Yorkers of all incomes and backgrounds to call home. The energy efficiency component is critical as the State leads the nation in fighting climate change and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative supports climate-friendly projects."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight, said, "Through the Governor's Downtown Revitalization Initiative and constructive multi-agency collaboration, downtowns across New York State are truly becoming the thriving, connected hubs and hearts of their communities. Transforming this beautiful landmark building into affordable housing will help to move Seneca Falls closer to its vision of a walkable downtown where people want to live, work and play."
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, "Under Governor Hochul's leadership, New York State is focused on greatly increasing the supply of supportive and affordable housing through the state. Huntington Apartments will provide supportive housing for veterans experiencing homelessness, enabling them to have a safe, affordable place to live where they can easily access services and remain stably housed."
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "The Huntington Apartments project will give Seneca County residents access to new affordable housing that exemplifies the important role historic buildings can play in the clean-energy transition. By incorporating energy-efficient appliances and high-performance equipment and materials, this project will provide climate-friendly, comfortable living spaces along with critical services for vulnerable New Yorkers."
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, "Every Seneca Falls resident deserves access to safe affordable housing, and I am proud that the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, that I fought hard to expand, has supplied the millions needed to begin construction on these dozens of new energy-efficient affordable homes for our veterans. Our veterans served our country and in return we must serve them. This will help ensure veterans in the Finger Lakes have access to the affordable homes they need and deserve. I applaud Gov Hochul for moving forward on affordable housing, and will keep fighting to get every dollar of federal support needed to help our veteran communities across the Finger Lakes."
State Senator Tom O'Mara said, "State investments in affordable and supportive housing in our communities, including for veterans in need, continue to strengthen the fabric of neighborhoods and the quality of life for tenants and residents in communities across this region and state. Huntington Apartments is an important commitment that will deliver affordable housing and other critical short- and long-term benefits to continue revitalizing and strengthening the Seneca Falls community."
Assemblymember Jeff Gallahan said, "This is an exciting investment in the future of Seneca Falls. Downtowns are the heart of our communities, and the redevelopment of the Huntington Building will help support the continued growth and success of our downtown. HCR continues to play a critical role in facilitating economic growth through the development of safe and affordable housing across our region."
Seneca Falls Town Supervisor Michael Ferrara said, "On behalf of the Town Board and the citizens of Seneca Falls, we are very excited about this project. We want to welcome Home Leasing to our community and look forward to September 2024 when new, energy efficient, affordable housing will be available for our community and our veterans. I would also like to thank the Koch family for their patience and decades of service to Seneca Falls."
CEO of Home Leasing Bret Garwood said, "Home Leasing is proud to help preserve the Huntington Building and bring much needed affordable housing to Seneca Falls. We are thankful for all our partners and the community for working together to save this important historic building."
Assistant Vice President & Mortgage Officer at The Community Preservation Corporation Miriam Zinter said, "An affordable, supportive place to call home can be one of the most effective pathways to help bring stability and opportunity back to peoples' lives. The Huntington Apartments speaks to CPC's mission of investing in projects that breathe new life into our historic buildings, transforming them into resources that will serve the unique housing needs of our communities for years to come. My thanks to long-time partner Home Leasing, to all of our state partners, and to Governor Hochul for her dedication to making New York more affordable and equitable for everyone."
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. More information is available here.