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Homes and Community Renewal

NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Conifer and Volunteers of America Upstate New York Celebrate Construction Start of New Affordable Senior Housing Complex

HCR Commissioner/CEO Jamie Rubin addresses a packed room at the New York State Rural Housing Coalition’s Housing and Community Development Conference in Oswego

Artist Rendering

Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team Helps Finance Supportive Housing for Vulnerable Seniors

Webster, N.Y. October 28, 2015 – New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Conifer Realty, LLC and Volunteers of America Upstate New York (VOAUPNY), joined by County Executive Maggie Brooks and Webster Town Supervisor, Ronald W. Nesbitt, gathered to celebrate the official groundbreaking for Cobblestone Place at Webster, a $12 million senior housing development.

Cobblestone Place at Webster is a 60-unit apartment community that once completed late next year, will offer individuals aged 62 and older an affordable, high quality, state-of-the-art apartment home with many amenities. Of the units, 30 will be set aside for frail elderly residents and an additional nine units will be designed for those with special needs including those with hearing and visual impairment.

HCR Commissioner James S. Rubin said: “Our seniors deserve the chance to live independently in the best housing and with the best care we can give them. This development accomplishes both of those missions. This development accomplishes both of those missions. Our partners, Conifer and VOAUPNY are creating a state-of-the-art development that not only provides housing that is affordable to seniors on a fixed budget, and who can and want to live independently, but also gives them access to in-house services and basic medical care.””

The complex is funded in part with funds generated through Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT). The Governor created the MRT in 2011 to find better medical and therapeutic alternatives for high-need Medicaid clients in treatment for mental illness or substance abuse whose prognosis wasn’t improving from repeated hospitalizations that were costly for the state. The MRT proposed $3 billion in taxpayer savings, with the state committing more than $300 million of those savings to supportive housing developments. The state budget provides for more than $1 billion in base funding to address homelessness statewide.

“Cobblestone Place is a wonderful example of the power of collaborative public/private partnerships,” said Conifer President and CEO Tim Fournier. “From the State of NY, to the County of Monroe, to the Town of Webster, all have worked in conjunction with the VOA, Elder One and Conifer to bring this state of the art supportive housing senior development to the Webster community.”

The project is designed to meet the Town of Webster's goal of promoting mixed-use and mixed-income developments. The town plan includes the development of the supportive housing at Cobblestone Place, along with approximately 41,400 square feet of commercial space and 70 recently completed market rate apartment units.

The development will have 45 parking spaces, a community room for residents and has been designed in accordance with green building guidelines including high efficiency building systems, energy efficient lighting and Energy Star appliances. The new development is located in the center of the town of Webster; a sidewalk will be constructed to connect the project site to the existing sidewalk network and nearby shopping centers.  

Volunteers of America of Upstate New York Inc. and ElderOne will provide supportive services in the new complex. VOA will be onsite weekly to provide assistance in coordinating services with ElderOne and residents. ElderOne will provide medical and supportive services on-site to qualified residents that enroll in its All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Program, which helps seniors who would be considered nursing home eligible to continue to live independently in the community. The Project's community manager and VOA will also refer residents to other community organizations to receive additional on-site and off-site supportive services.

The VOA made the difficult decision a few months ago to close its thrift stores in order to focus more fully on its mission-related programs, which currently serve more than 6,000 people each year. “Our mission is to empower people to rise out of poverty and move toward self-reliance,” said JoAnne M. Ryan, VOAUPNY’s President and CEO. “That’s what we do best, and it’s how we can have the biggest impact, so that’s where we are going to put our energy going forward.”

“Cobblestone Place at Webster is an example of VOAUPNY working to meet the needs of our community and to carry out our founders’ vision to go wherever we are needed and do whatever comes to hand to help those in need,” explains Ms. Ryan. “Working with Conifer Realty on this development is very exciting and we cannot wait to open the doors once construction is complete.”

Cobblestone Place will cost nearly $12 million. HCR provided $5.8 million in bonds to finance the construction. Other sources of funds are the state MRT loan of $6 million, $120,000 from Monroe County Home Fund; an additional $120,000 from NYSEDRA; $300,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank Loan; and tax credit proceeds in the expected amount of $2.92 million.

Individuals interested in being put on a waiting list for the new community should visit www.cobblestoneplacewebster.com to fill out the interest list form, call (585) 280-5083 or email cobbelstoneplace@coniferllc.com.

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About New York State Homes and Community Renewal:
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agencies include 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. In 2014, HCR boasted a record year, financing the creation or preservation of 9,407 affordable housing units, including affordable homeownership opportunities for more than one thousand families. 2015 marks the third year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NYprogram, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. As the largest investment in New York State’s affordable housing stock in at least 15 years, House NY investments will keep thousands of low- and moderate-income Mitchell-Lama units affordable for another 40 years.

Conifer is a nationally ranked, full-service real estate company specializing in the development, construction, management and ownership of high-quality, affordable housing communities. Since its inception in 1975,
Conifer has grown considerably – currently owning and managing over 14,000 multifamily units representing 220+ apartment communities in five states. In addition, the Company consistently maintains a pipeline of over 30 unique projects in various stages of the development process.

Volunteers of America Upstate New York is a local non-profit human service organization that serves more than 6,000 men, women and children annually in Rochester and throughout Upstate New York. The agency’s mission is to empower people in our community to rise out of poverty, move toward self-reliance, and reach their full potential. VOA offers a continuum of programs including: emergency shelter and support services for homeless individuals and families; educational programs and care for at-risk children; affordable permanent housing; reentry programs for men and women who are or have been incarcerated; and employment services, including the Working Wardrobe.