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Homes and Community Renewal

Storm Recovery in Tioga County Continues With Groundbreaking of 62 Affordable Senior Housing Units

Governor Cuomo Announces $50 Million Available For Nonprofit Infrastructure Improvements During Housing, Community, and Faith Based Development Conference in Utica

December 10, 2015 - New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and its partners today announced the groundbreaking of the $12.5 million Owego Village Gardens Apartment in Tioga County, a 62-unit rental complex for persons aged 55 and older in an area where more than 2,300 rental and owner-occupied units were damaged by the combined impact of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

HCR Commissioner/CEO James S. Rubin noted the essential roles of HCR and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) in marshalling and coordinating State and federal resources to make the project possible.

“Area residents need no reminders of the damaging effects Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee had on this area over four years ago. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to the people has been unwavering to both restore affordable housing and build back in a way that is smart, resilient, sustainable, and better able to withstand severe weather incidents that have become more frequent,” Commissioner Rubin said. “It is with appreciation and pride that I recognize the efforts of my colleagues at HCR who were among those who mobilized to provide support, assistance and information to the people we proudly serve. Our commitment continues.”.”

Lisa Bova-Hiatt, Executive Director of GOSR said, "As we continue to reimagine our State for the new realities of extreme weather, we will not waiver on our commitment to preserve, restore and protect housing for New Yorkers of all income levels. Through inter-agency coordination, we can remain laser-focused on this issue, and generate more affordable housing resources for Tioga County and other storm-impacted communities."

The development, at 130A Southside Drive, will be a three-story, wood frame building with an elevator. It will consist of 50 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units. Twenty-four units will be for tenants at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI); 23 for those with incomes at or below 60 percent of AMI; seven for tenants at or below 90 percent of AMI with seven to rent at unrestricted market rates. One unit will be occupied by a resident site manager.

Construction is expected to be completed in early 2017. The building design incorporates New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Green and Energy Efficiency measures that include energy efficient heat, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as Energy Star lighting and appliances.

Owego Gardens is within GOSR’s New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program for Tioga County. It will include elements from the GOSR CDBG Disaster Recovery Resiliency Tools Kit such as building the electrical system more than two feet above base flood elevation; installing backflow preventers on incoming waterlines; securing the roof with hurricane strapping and constructing gravity-based drainage to accommodate storm water.

The pet-friendly building will offer views of the Susquehanna River and is near the village’s central business district which includes a public library, Post Office, health care and senior service facilities, supermarket and bus stop. The project is expected to create about 30 construction jobs and two permanent jobs.

Financing includes:

The project is one element of a comprehensive redevelopment initiative by the Tioga County Industrial Development Agency. It is located on five of the agency’s 85-acre planned development site that later will include retail, office and light industrial uses.

Mayor Kevin Millar of Village of Owego said, “This project was initiated, designed and started on an extremely aggressive schedule. It took all parties working closely together to successfully get to this groundbreaking today. I am looking forward to Owego Gardens Apartments opening in 2017 as a very attractive option for seniors to live in the Village of Owego, but out of the flood risk zone.”

Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman & CEO of Home Leasing, LLC, said, “We are honored to work with the Village of Owego, Tioga County, HCR, and Government Office of Storm Recovery to develop much needed affordable housing in Owego, NY.  Owego Gardens will help supplement housing lost during the storms of 2011.”

The project will be owned by Owego Gardens Associates, a subsidiary of Home Leasing. Home Leasing Services will provide construction management.