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Homes and Community Renewal

HCR, OTDA, STEL and Local Partners Celebrate Opening of Evergreen Lofts 56 Supportive, Affordable Homes in Repurposed Historic Industrial Building in Buffalo

July 25, 2016

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), and Southern Tier Environments for Living (STEL) joined local partners to dedicate Evergreen Lofts, an under-utilized industrial building in Buffalo that now has 56 energy-efficient affordable apartments in an LGBTQ-friendly setting and supportive housing for formerly homeless persons with chronic medical conditions.

HCR Commissioner James S. Rubin said: “Evergreen Lofts is another example of Governor Cuomo delivering on his commitment to provide affordable, inclusive, housing opportunities to our fellow New Yorkers facing life’s challenges.  State government is combining energy and expertise and partnering with the private and not-for-profit sectors to help people live as independently as possible with access to support services.”

OTDA Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said: “Supportive housing is a proven tool that helps stabilize the lives of homeless individuals and families. The housing and services tenants will receive at the Evergreen Lofts will have long-term, positive impacts on their lives. Congratulations to Southern Tier Environments for Living, Evergreen Health and all of our partners who were involved in bringing this much-needed project to fruition.” 

Evergreen Lofts, at 392 Genesee Street, was an industrial building built in 1895 and prominent for decades as the home of the Buffalo Trunk Manufacturing Company. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The structure was substantially rehabilitated into 56 residential units – 50 one bedroom; four two-bedroom and two three-bedroom apartments.

The residential conversion utilized such sustainable elements as Energy Star heating and cooling equipment, appliances and light fixtures. Evergreen Lofts also has water conserving plumbing fixtures, green label certified floor coverings and daylight sensors on all exterior lighting.

Total development cost was about $16.5 million. HCR’s Housing Finance Agency provided $8.3 million through tax exempt bonds, a $2.9 million Medicaid Redesign Team loan, and mortgage insurance through the State of New York Mortgage Agency; $1.5 million loan from OTDA’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program; $1 million loan from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York; about $5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity; $1.9 million in estimated New York State Historic Tax Credit equity and about $2.9 million in Federal Historic Tax Credit equity. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide funding through its Continuum of Care Program for onsite social services and rental subsidies for tenants in supportive housing units.

STEL and Evergreen Health are the general partners of the limited partnership that owns the building. It is operated by Evergreen Health.

STEL Executive Director Thomas J. Whitney said: “Evergreen Lofts is a prime example of the positive outcome of Governor Cuomo’s policy where State agencies work in a genuinely collaborative way on behalf of New Yorkers in need. We and the people who will live here, are grateful for the dedication and commitment of our colleagues at HCR, OTDA and our private sector partners, National Equity Fund and First Niagara Bank.”

Evergreen Health President Ron Silverio said: “We couldn’t be happier with how this project turned out – thanks to the hard work of our building partners, funding agencies and dedicated staff. Hundreds of people in WNY and across the state have contributed to make the Evergreen Lofts a reality. I’m proud to say Evergreen Lofts is Western New York’s first apartment building that has branded itself as LGBTQ-affirming. Not only have we transformed a vacant, underutilized historical site that was once Buffalo Trunk Manufacturing Company, but we’ve done it while making WNY a safer, more inclusive community.”

In Western New York since 2011, HCR has created 719 units of affordable housing in 27 developments.

About New York State Homes and Community Renewal
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) includes the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. 2016 marks the fourth year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NY program, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. In 2015, HCR set a record for financing the creation or preservation of more than 11,000 affordable homes and apartments and was the #1 bond issuer in the nation with $2.5 billion issued. The agency stands ready to make good on the Governor’s new $10 billion 100,000 unit House NY 2020 commitment. For more information about HCR programs and initiatives, please visit

About Southern Tier Environments for Living, Inc.

Southern Tier Environments for Living (STEL) is a private, not-for-profit agency that was established in 1980. It provides rehabilitative and supportive services in four counties of Western New York: Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua, and in Western Pennsylvania. In 2001, STEL earned the distinction of being the first entity to utilize Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity as a source of funding to produce housing licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health.

About Evergreen Health

Evergreen Health is committed to fostering healthy communities by providing medical, supportive and behavioral services to individuals and families in Western New York, especially those in marginalized populations and/or threatened by chronic or life threatening disease. For additional information, please visit