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New York State Homes and Community Renewal Announces Groundbreaking for $18 Million State Funded Affordable Housing Development

Joseph L. Allen Apartments Named in honor of Schenectady’s First African American City Councilman

Washington, D.C. – May 11, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner James S. Rubin today announced the start of construction for the Joseph L. Allen Apartments, a new $17.9 million New York State funded 51-unit affordable and supportive housing development in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood. Commissioner Rubin attended a groundbreaking ceremony today along with officials from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, developer DePaul Properties, Inc., and other partners.

Located at 780 Albany Street, the new three-story, 52,500-square-foot building developed by DePaul is among the many developments across the state that form the foundation of Governor Cuomo’s new, $10 billion investment in the HouseNY 2020 program to create or preserve 100,000 affordable units over the next five years. The development is also receiving funding through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Irene.

Commissioner Rubin said, “This new development will make a tangible difference for people here in Hamilton Hill, a neighborhood with an undeniable need for fresh investment, new jobs and quality affordable housing. Far too many New Yorkers spend more than a third of their income on keeping a roof over their heads. That’s why Governor Cuomo’s housing programs are designed to expand housing opportunity and choice for people in communities across the state. More than that, we are making it possible for people to live independently while getting the support they need. This can make the difference between having a home of one’s own and becoming homeless.”

GOSR Executive Director Lisa Bova-Hiatt said, “Schenectady’s rental housing supply was severely affected by Hurricane Irene and a key element of the Joseph L. Allen Apartments is its location outside the local flood plain. Our objective is to build back better and with greater resiliency. While we cannot control nature, we are able to minimize its destructive impact.”

“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the Office of Mental Health has created over 6,000 units of supportive housing across the state in the last five years and we are proud to have yet another opportunity to provide affordable, supportive housing for individuals with behavioral health needs,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan. “Supportive housing is one of the most effective pathways to help New Yorkers achieve independence and the Joseph L. Allen Apartments will provide tenants with much-needed resources and community linkages.”

Joseph L. Allen Apartments, named in honor of Schenectady’s first African American City Councilman, a beloved and revered community member, will have 51 new studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments for low-income tenants. Twenty-five of the one-bedroom apartments will be permanent housing for single adults in need of supportive services provided through the Schenectady Community Action Program (SCAP). Services include housing assistance, employment services, daily and community living skills training, healthcare monitoring, linkages and referrals to community services, coordination of social and cultural activities and the coordination of support groups.

The development plans incorporate “green” standards, including using Energy Star rated appliances and lighting fixtures; low or no VOC paints, primers, adhesives and sealants; green label plus carpeting; high efficiency furnaces and condensing units for heating and cooling. In addition, the Joseph L. Allen Apartments will be certified to Version 3.1 of the Energy Star Certified for Homes program, Enterprise Green Communities Criteria Program 2015, and the NYSERDA Low Rise Residential New Construction program. The developer expects construction to be complete in the summer of 2017.

Senator Hugh Farley said, “The Joseph L. Allen Apartments is a prime example of what can be achieved when various government agencies truly combine their energy and expertise to enhance the quality of life of fellow New Yorkers with special needs. An added benefit will be the boost to the local economy which this construction activity will bring.”

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “Over the last decade, we’ve seen the ongoing transformation of Downtown Schenectady into a vibrant upstate destination. The investments are now being extended to our city’s neighborhoods with projects like the new Joseph L. Allen Apartments, which will add strength and vitality to our city. This is a project about people. People in public service partnering with the private sector to make significant investments in our neighborhoods that are helping local families and residents find a safe place to live with the support services that make a difference. The completion of this project will mark another important step in building stronger, vibrant communities in our great city of Schenectady.”

Assemblyman Phil Steck said, “This is a positive development on several levels. The Joseph L. Allen Apartments is a fitting honor to a dedicated public official where our fellow New Yorkers will have a supportive, modern, and energy-efficient place to call home in Hamilton Hill.”

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said, “Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision to achieve a cleaner, more affordable, and resilient energy system builds energy goals into state-funded affordable housing projects like the Joseph L. Allen Apartments. Residents and managers will benefit from these energy-efficient apartments for years to come, in the form of lower energy bills, improved indoor air quality and lower maintenance costs.”

Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “Working closely with DePaul and our economic development team, we were able to secure this $17.9 million investment in Hamilton Hill. Today, we celebrate the start of construction for Joseph L. Allen Apartments and we look forward to additional investments in the Albany Street corridor in the months ahead.”

Anthony Jasenski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “We thank DePaul Properties for working together with the County’s economic development team to line up the site for this new $17.9 million investment. It is great to see construction now underway for a development that will certainly act as a catalyst to bring additional investment and jobs to support our neighborhood revitalization efforts in Schenectady County.”

Councilwoman Marion Porterfield, Schenectady City Council said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to expanding affordable housing opportunities in a supportive setting is real. Not only will Hamilton Hill get much-needed investment, but people will live in a development that honors the legacy of Joseph L. Allen, a man who served this community with passion and dedication.”
“DePaul is pleased to be a community partner in meeting the need for quality affordable housing options in Schenectady and throughout New York State,” said DePaul President Mark H. Fuller. “We wish to thank Governor Cuomo and the State for providing DePaul with the funding that has made this project a reality. We are so proud to be part of the revitalization of the Hamilton Hill neighborhood community. The DePaul Joseph L. Allen Apartments is an example of progress and partnership in action.”

New York State financing for the development was provided by HCR Low Income Housing Tax Credits and OMH loans and grants, a grant from NYSERDA, and a Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery loan from GOSR. The City of Schenectady has abated real estate taxes through a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program and JPMorgan Chase provided the Letter of Credit.

The 2016-17 Enacted Budget that Governor Cuomo signed into law includes $20 billion over five years for a comprehensive statewide housing and homelessness action plan.

The $10 billion HouseNY 2020 plan boosts state spending on housing programs by nearly $5 billion and will create and preserve 100,000 affordable housing units across the state, along with supporting services for New Yorkers seeking affordable housing.

The $10 billion homelessness action plan will also support the creation of 6,000 new supportive housing beds, 1,000 emergency beds, and a variety of expanded homelessness services over the next five years. Over 15 years, the state will add 20,000 new units that will build upon 44,000 existing supportive housing units that the state already funds. This investment marks the largest commitment to addressing homelessness in New York State history.