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Homes and Community Renewal

HCR Housing Opportunities and Community Revitalization Efforts Seen during Gov. Cuomo’s Central New York Capital for a Day


Governor Cuomo convened a cabinet meeting of State agency commissioners in Liverpool, Onondaga County on September 30, to demonstrate the State’s commitment to the people of Central New York. His Capital for a Day program provided an opportunity for HCR Commissioner/CEO James S. Rubin and members of the senior staff to visit several active projects that have received funding support from HCR programs.

Commissioner Rubin joined Oneida Mayor Max Smith at the active construction site for Oneida Workforce Housing which is transforming an empty lot to 40 units of housing in four, two-story buildings. The project received $2.1 million from HCR and an $80,000 award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). That investment leveraged $8 million in low income hour tax credit equity. It is a priority project of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery’s NY Rising Community reconstruction Plan. It will be occupied primarily by people who lost their homes in the severe storm in 2013 that caused great devastation in the Oneida Flats area.

Also in Oneida, he toured All Seasoning Ingredients, a bustling spice-making facility that was awarded $436,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to expand its facility to keep up with growing demand. Established with six employees 20 years ago, expansion created 15 new jobs bringing employment to 57 men and women.

Commissioner Rubin also addressed the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, with staff members participating on panels discussing opportunities, challenges and accessing various HCR housing and community revitalization programs, and how they can be coordinated and leveraged with others.

Executive Deputy Commissioner Betsy Mallow saw how a $200,000 grant spurred adaptive reuse of a parcel that once housed a car dealership and bowling alley to become the Cortland Repertory Theatre. A New York Main Street grant of $250,000 funded the renovations of facades and street-level commercial space of four buildings, leaving upper floors primed for future residential development.

The day included two Governor’s announcements to improve access to quality affordable housing and strengthen communities. The first, a $375,000 Affordable Housing award to the Cortland Housing Assistance Council will go toward the acquisition and rehabilitation of 15 single-family homes in the county to bring them into code compliance, or provide critical improvements to extend the long-term viability of the structures.  

The second is an HCR award of $200,000 to Oswego County for the repair of 10 single-family homes under the Oswego County Revitalize and Repair Program.  Improvements include the installation, replacement or repair of heating, plumbing, electrical and related systems and elimination of hazardous building violations.