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Homes and Community Renewal

HCR, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, & Housing Visions Dedicate Walnut Avenue Homes

NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Housing Visions, Officials and Partners Dedicate Walnut Avenue Homes; $12.2 Million, 41-Unit, Development

Affordable Housing for Low-Income Families, Support Services for Formerly Homeless Persons

(May 1, 2017) New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) joined Housing Visions, elected and local leaders and development partners to dedicate Walnut Avenue Homes in the City of Niagara Falls, a 41-unit development of seven new buildings and the adaptive re-use of another that is providing affordable housing for low-income households and the formerly homeless.

“This is more than one affordable housing development - this is the building block of a stable, safe and vibrant neighborhood of the kind that will drive the revitalization of Niagara Falls,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who took part in today’s dedication. “Through the collaborative work of many state agencies and the private sector, we are providing homes and a supportive environment through YWCA of Niagara for people who have faced economic hardship and domestic violence. This also affirms Governor Cuomo’s historic commitment to combat the problems of housing and homelessness in New York State.”

The project, on Walnut Avenue between Fifth and Seventh streets, involved new construction for 32 units in seven buildings where vacant structures once stood, and the re-purposing of an historic, long-abandoned educational building, for nine additional units.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “We are proud to combine our expertise and resources via low income housing tax credits, Housing Trust Fund and HOME program, as part of a coordinated effort with our State and private sector partners to make Walnut Avenue Homes possible. It’s a concrete example of the Governor’s commitment to expanding affordable and supportive housing opportunities in Niagara Falls and across the state.”  

OTDA Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, “Governor Cuomo believes providing affordable and supportive housing developments is the best approach to facing a complex problem. I am excited to partner with HCR, Housing Visions and the YWCA of Niagara to provide vital services residents need to gain back their independence.”

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Thanks to improvements that Governor Cuomo made to the state historic preservation tax credits, we are seeing the re-use of more vacant and underutilized buildings be part of an overall strategy to improve the character of neighborhoods and create much-needed affordable housing. It’s great to see another one of these success stories in Western New York.” 

Funding for the $12.2 million development includes:

The project is sponsored by Housing Visions.It is partnering with the YWCA of Niagara to provide 13 units, and support services, to formerly homeless women and their children. All units were constructed using green building practices and incorporating energy efficiency measures that adhere to NYSERDA’s Energy Star Labeled Homes Program.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, “The dedication of this $12.2 million project is just another example of Governor Cuomo’s unparalleled dedication to the residents of the City of Niagara Falls. The Walnut Avenue Homes project, thanks to the efforts of Housing Visions, HCRC and the YWCA, will ensure that the city’s continued growth, and the revitalization of our downtown corridor in particular, will be enjoyed by all residents for years to come.”

President and CEO of Housing Visions Kenyon Craig said, “Housing Visions is proud to partner with New York State’s HCR and OTDA, the City of Niagara Falls and the YWCA of Niagara to bring much needed neighborhood revitalization through the development of affordable housing with the Walnut Avenue Homes project. We truly appreciate all of our partners in Western New York and look forward to continued success in the years to come.”

Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello said, “I want to congratulate Housing Visions and the City of Niagara Falls on the successful completion of this project that is so important to many families and individuals in our community. Because of the joint effort among the City of Niagara Falls, the State of New York, and Housing Visions, 41 families will now have a safe place to sleep at night, and for this I am grateful. I also want to thank the YWCA of Niagara for its commitment to providing supportive services at this new development to the individuals in our city most in need of a helping hand.”   

New York State’s FY 2018 Budget continues funding for the state’s $20 billion comprehensive, five-year plan for affordable and supportive housing to ensure New Yorkers who are homeless or at risk of homelessness have safe and secure housing. The Budget includes $2.5 billion in funding to advance the creation or preservation of 100,000 affordable and 6,000 supportive housing units.

About New York State Homes and Community Renewal:
NYS Homes and Community Renewal’s (HCR) housing and community development agencies work to create, preserve and improve affordable homes and vibrant communities, in keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision of a more inclusive, affordable, sustainable, and resilient New York. In 2016, HCR set a record for the third year in a row, financing the creation or preservation of more than 17,000 affordable homes and apartments, creating nearly 2,000 homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers, and was once again the #1 affordable housing bond issuer in the nation with $2.8 billion issued. For more information on HCR agencies, programs and initiatives, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/

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