Total Stimulus Investment in Affordable Housing Reaches $75 Million for nearly 1,700 Units Across the State, with 368 in Monroe County
Albany, NY – August 18, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor David A. Paterson today announced the award of $45 million in affordable housing grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The funds will jumpstart nine developments stalled by the economic downturn, helping to build or rehabilitate 1,119 units of affordable housing for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and low-income families and individuals. The Governor made the announcement at El Camino Estates in Rochester, one of three affordable housing projects in Monroe County that will receive stimulus grants.
“With these affordable housing grants, we save desperately needed development endangered by the economic downturn. We will create new homes for our most-vulnerable New Yorkers, while also generating more than $175 million in direct economic activity and attracting more than $48 million in additional equity,” Governor Paterson said. “These investments are critical for the residents who will call the housing units home and for the local economies that will benefit from the start of construction.”
The grants announced today are part of $253 million in federal Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds available through the ARRA. The awards are allocated to the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and used to fill financing gaps created by the devaluation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Before the financial downturn, the tax credits were one of the most reliable sources of equity for affordable housing projects. The grant recipients were awarded tax credits in 2007 and 2008. However, the meltdown of the housing and financial markets caused the tax credits to lose 25 percent or more of their value, creating funding gaps for many affordable housing projects that relied on the credits. The TCAP funds will allow construction on the projects, which are expected to begin within 45 days.
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said: “I have continued to support funding for El Camino and am pleased the federal stimulus package, with the help of Governor Paterson, will provide funds for this critical housing project here in Rochester. Affordable housing for 25 low income families and individuals will do a lot to help stabilize our community and assist the working poor.”
Commissioner of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal Deborah VanAmerongen said: “New York has taken the lead in addressing the economic crisis’s impact on the creation of affordable housing. We have been working with developers since early last year to fill funding gaps created by the downturn, and Governor Paterson effectively lobbied Congress and the President’s office to include funding for affordable housing in the economic recovery package.”
Assemblyman David Gantt said: “These grants will give a much needed boost to the Rochester economy by creating jobs and by giving many who do not have access to adequate affordable housing a chance to rebuild their lives. These investments come at a time when hardworking New Yorkers need them the most and provide a positive outlook for the future.”
Mayor Robert J. Duffy said: “This is an important investment in our community – one that ensures that our residents most in need are well provided for through safe, affordable and top-quality housing. I’d like to thank Governor Paterson for his commitment to Rochester once again through the designation of these crucial funds.”
The projects to receive TCAP funds are located in urban, suburban and rural New York and include:
- $3.3 million for El Camino Estates in the City of Rochester to provide 25 units of affordable housing for very low-income individuals with developmental disabilities. The City of Rochester also contributed $435,000 in HOME federal funding and is providing a PILOT (payment in lieu of tax) agreement for the property;
- $1.96 million for Lafayette Manor in Staten Island to provide 60 units of housing for very low-income elderly and frail elderly;
- $3.7 million for Clifton Park Senior Apartments in Saratoga County to build 70 units of affordable housing for low- and very low-income elderly and frail elderly; and
- $2 million for Unadilla Senior Housing in Otsego County to provide 24 units of affordable housing for very low income elderly.
DHCR has also sub-allocated TCAP funds to the State’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA), which recently approved a total of $34.7 million for the building and renovation of 940 affordable housing units. Those projects include:
- 774 West Main Street Apartments in Rochester, which will receive HFA financing for the renovation of a vacant building and construction of a new apartment building. The project will create 113 units, including 89 studios that will be rented to tenants with psychiatric disabilities;
- Stonewood Village in Henrietta in Monroe County will receive HFA financing, making major capital improvements to the 188-unit low-rise project;
- Farmington Senior Apartments in Farmington in Ontario County will receive HFA financing for the construction of an 88-unit garden apartment-style development. The project will equip 17 units to meet the needs of tenants with physical disabilities or with audio or visual impairments;
- Madison Plaza Apartments in Rome in Oneida County will receive HFA financing, making major capital improvements to the 127-unit Mitchell Lama project;
- Selfhelp Kissena I and II in Queens will receive HFA financing, making major capital improvements in the two Mitchell Lama projects, which have 424 units reserved for seniors.
These awards are the latest in a series of affordable housing grants that the Governor has announced, including last month’s allocation of $30 million for projects across the State. Thus far, the total stimulus investment in affordable housing has reached $75 million, helping to rehabilitate or create 1,669 units across the State.
Both DHCR and HFA adhere to ARRA Policy Goals outlined by Governor Paterson, which include, fostering energy independence by ensuring that all projects recommended will meet heightened energy-efficiency standards; providing equal opportunity for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) by applying MWBE utilization goals to all projects recommended for TCAP funding and encouraging sound labor practices by requiring, consistent with the requirements of ARRA, that all projects utilize Davis-Bacon wage and fringe rates approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The following quotes were given in support of the affordable housing grants:
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said: “Creating affordable housing opportunities in Rochester is a win-win, it will create jobs and provide an economic boost to the local economy. The development of El Camino Estates is the type of project that the Economic Recovery package was intended to fund and is the reason why I fought so hard to see it passed. I will continue to work to bring federal funds to Rochester to encourage more projects that create jobs and provide a needed jump-start to the economy.”
U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said: “This is the right investment for Rochester and New York. These federal dollars will help put more families and seniors in safe, quality homes they can afford and create new good-paying jobs. I will continue working with Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and the entire Congressional Delegation to make sure New York gets its fair share from the federal government.”
Congressman Gary Ackerman said: “These are exactly the types of projects that the stimulus was intended to fund. These affordable housing grants are a twofer: they will both create jobs in New York and also provide housing to those individuals who need it most.”
Congressman Michael E. McMahon said: “Affordable housing for our seniors and neighbors with special needs is not a luxury – it is a necessity. Our seniors, who have served and enriched our community for many years, need to be able to retire with dignity. These Economic Recovery funds will make that possible. The 60 new units at Lafayette Manor will fill a critical gap in the low-income housing options that we can provide for the senior members of our community, especially in this economic downturn. This is exactly the type of program that demonstrates the success of the Economic Recovery Act, and I commend the Governor for his continued commitment to the residents of Staten Island.”
President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York State Housing Finance Agency Priscilla Almodovar said: “These grants close funding gaps caused by the economic downturn, and without them we would not be able to move forward with our affordable housing projects. They also generate much-needed economic activity that will help revitalize the State’s economy.”
Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr., Chair of the of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, said: “This latest in tax credit assistance demonstrates the ongoing efforts and commitment of the Governor and Senate Democratic Majority leadership to addressing the affordable housing needs of the people who need it most and revitalizing communities, creating jobs and stimulating local economies during these difficult economic times.”
Senator Joe Robach said: “I am very happy to see these funds supporting affordable housing projects right here in Rochester and I want to thank Governor Paterson for his efforts to bring these resources to our community. These grants will help revitalize these areas by rehabilitating a vacant building, building new housing units and will provide much needed construction jobs for our working men and women. Most importantly, these funds will help provide quality residences for people in our community living with disabilities.”
Assemblyman Vito Lopez, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, said: “Without these stimulus funds projects such as the El Camino Estates and other building projects around New York would not be completed during this recession, only exacerbating the lack of affordable housing for low-income families, elderly and disabled residents. I am grateful that Governor and New York Congressional Delegation have advocated for funds that will help the most vulnerable to find housing during this time of great need.”
Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle said: “These grants will provide critical housing opportunities for those most affected by the current crisis, and will generate precisely the sort of economic activity New Yorkers need at this time. The governor is to be commended for his efforts to put these important projects on the path to completion.”