First Competitive Federal Community Development Awards to Westchester Local Governments Since 2010
Washington, D.C. – January 27, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $4.3 million in federal grants have been awarded to 10 local governments in Westchester County to support 14 projects that address critical housing, public infrastructure, public facilities and economic development needs. These targeted high-need communities were previously prohibited from receiving funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development because of the county’s non-compliance with federal Fair Housing laws. In February 2015, Governor Cuomo worked with Congresswoman Nita Lowey, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Congressman Eliot Engel to broker a deal to allow the state to award competitive Community Development Block Grant funds to eligible Westchester localities.
“This funding allows more than a dozen crucial development projects in Westchester to get off the ground, and ultimately improve the local communities,” said Governor Cuomo.“I want to thank Representatives Lowey and Engel for their partnership and unwavering dedication to ensuring that these critical projects get the attention and funding they deserve.”
The $4.3 million will support community investments that include: redeveloping blighted property into new affordable housing; rehabilitating seven buildings to upgrade the apartments of low-income tenants; creating Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant accessibility for a senior center; creating sidewalk infrastructure for a public housing building; creating a crosswalk and other public structures to provide access for residents of public housing; and funding an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bus for seniors, among others. New York State Homes and Community Renewal will administer the funding.
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, “I’m pleased 10 communities in Westchester County will receive federal Community Development Block Grant money for excellent projects to improve residents’ quality of life. From senior center and housing rehabilitation to sidewalk and sewer repairs, these investments will provide vital infrastructure and service upgrades, while reducing the burden on local municipalities. The Governor was a great partner with me in reaching an agreement to award substantial federal CDBG funds to Westchester municipalities who lost this valuable resource in recent years. As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working with Governor Cuomo and local officials to ensure the needs of our communities are met.”
Congressman Eliot Engel said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for using these federal dollars for valuable projects that will strengthen local communities throughout Westchester. I am pleased that Rye and Greenburgh especially will benefit from the allocation of more than $600,000 for improved handicap accessibility for elderly or disabled residents. We need to do all that we can to ensure our communities are well-equipped for everyone regardless of one’s physical limitations.”
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey Holly Leicht said, “HUD welcomes the opportunity to work with the State of New York to award Community Development Block Grant funds to communities in Westchester County that are committed to affirmatively furthering fair housing. We applaud Governor Cuomo and Congresswoman Lowey for their leadership in forging a path that allows federal funds to pay for critically important housing, infrastructure and economic development projects in ten Westchester localities.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner/CEO James S. Rubin said, “This is an example of government, on all levels working in sync to serve communities, expand opportunities for affordable housing and improve the quality of life for New Yorkers. With the Governor’s leadership and Secretary Castro’s responsiveness, we were able to release vital HUD CDBG funding that would otherwise have been out of the reach of these localities. The impact of these grants in communities across Westchester will positively affect thousands of lives, making a real difference for decades to come.”
The Community Development Block Grants announced today were awarded to:
Town of Bedford
- $421,050 to renovate a deteriorated church and finance four affordable one-bedroom units as part of a new twelve-unit development in the hamlet of Bedford Hills. The initial rents will be set at levels affordable to one person households whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent of the Westchester area median income.
Village of Elmsford
- $255,300 to address accessibility issues at the Village’s Community and Senior Center, serving over 1,800 individuals. The proposed rehabilitation includes constructing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps with solid foundations, preventing the build-up of ice by improving roof drainage, constructing level front stairs and improving additional access to the building near the parking lot.
Town of Greenburgh
- $247,220 to the town for the installation of Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks in and around the existing public housing at 65 Secor Road. The complex currently has no sidewalks to connect the main street thoroughfare to facilities and services. The town seeks to eliminate the barriers that disconnect portions of the existing sidewalk infrastructure.
Town/Village of Mount Kisco
- $200,000 to build a staircase and crosswalk across Preston Way to provide greater access to the shopping area and a more direct and safer route for pedestrians across an adjacent road. Currently, residents of the Mount Kisco Housing Authority must walk well out of their way to reach the supermarket and businesses in the area on foot. The project will benefit 1,055 individuals with low to moderate incomes.
- $30,000 to purchase an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bus for seniors to meet the critical transportation needs of the village’s elderly population and provide access to vital Village services.
Village of Ossining
- $295,845 to renovate residential structures owned by the Interfaith Council for Action to help improve the health, welfare and safety of the low income tenants.
City of Peekskill
- $313,000 to renovate three multifamily homes and one single-family home, which house eight low to moderate income tenants.
- $750,000 to replace three dilapidated and outdated pump stations with new, modern, above-ground pump stations which will ensure reliable consistent service to 23,080 residents, while eliminating health and safety hazards. Slightly more than 64 percent of these residents have low to moderate incomes.
Village of Port Chester
- $106,745 to replace kitchen appliances and the bus that services the village’s Senior Community Center, which are at the end of their useful life. New appliances, equipment and bus services will allow the village to continue providing meals and transportation to approximately 1,300 seniors and individuals with low to moderate incomes.
- $750,000 to inspect and repair deteriorated sewer mains throughout the village with Cured-In-Place piping. This project is Phase III of a multi-phase sewer rehabilitation program in the Village and will benefit 37,105 residents in the villages of Port Chester and Rye Brook, 54 percent of whom are individuals with low to moderate incomes.
Town of Rye
- $398,326 to make a series of handicap accessibility improvements to Crawford Park. Work includes improvements to the community center (elevator, bathrooms, and ramp), accessible bathrooms in the outdoor pavilion, accessible playground and ‘sensory garden,’ and an accessible parking area and pathway. The project will benefit the approximately 9,600 residents who are either elderly and/or disabled.
Village of Sleepy Hollow
- $62,292 to purchase an accessible van to transport seniors to essential services and recreational events. This will benefit 1,263 people.
- $340,925 to replace 47 dilapidated and unsafe streetlights on Beekman Avenue, the business district of the community, upgrading base footings, conduit, wiring, poles, and LED lights. The project will benefit the 9,560 Village residents, over 51 percent of whom have low to moderate incomes.
Village of Tarrytown
- $203,400 to make improvements to the village’s Senior Center, including: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems. The project will benefit the 297 members of the Tarrytown Senior Center, all of whom have low to moderate incomes.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Office of Community Renewal held three public education sessions on the application process and eligibility requirements in Mount Kisco, the Town of Mamaroneck and Sleepy Hollow. In addition, staff held over a dozen face-to-face meetings with local officials and an equal number of conference calls to assist municipalities with their applications. Once submitted, staff scored and ranked the applications. The recommended awards were then reviewed by the agency’s Fair and Equitable Housing Office.
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