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Homes and Community Renewal

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Announces Opening of 72 Affordable Homes in Rochester’s EMMA Neighborhood

Warfield Square on East Main Includes 16 Apartments with Access to Supportive Services For People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

$17.2 Million Investment in the EMMA Neighborhood Complements Finger Lakes Forward, the Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

(Rochester, September 7, 2018) New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced the opening of Warfield Square on East Main in Rochester, a development with 72 affordable homes for low and moderate income households which includes 16 homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Warfield Square on East Main is providing 72 households with opportunity to get the affordable housing they need to take part in our growing economy and live independently in the EMMA community they love. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s $20 billion, five-year housing plan, we are investing in projects like this across the state and right here in Rochester, where they play an important role in keeping the Finger Lakes Region economy moving forward.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s commitment to strengthening communities and growing the Finger Lakes economy is reflected in Finger Lakes Forward, a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative that builds on the more than $5.2 billion the State has injected in the region since 2012. The State’s investment in Warfield Square on East Main complements Finger Lakes Forward by increasing access to high quality affordable housing that provides supportive services so residents can live independently in their community.

Developed by Rochester-based Home Leasing, LLC, the project involved the adaptive reuse and expansion of a three-story office building and the construction of townhouses to create 72 affordable homes. Rent is affordable to households with incomes at 50 to 60 percent of the Area Median Income, while four apartments are open to households up to 80 percent of AMI. The 16 units for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive rental assistance from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.  

The building’s rehabilitation included a new roof, mechanical system, and elevator. The former offices previously housed community-based programs operated by Hillside Children’s Center, an affiliate of the Rochester-based Hillside Family of Agencies. Founded in 1837, the Hillside Family of Agencies is one of the oldest family and youth not-for-profit human services agencies in the United States.

In the newly renovated building, Hillside Children’s Center will operate East Main Café for the general public and occupy commercial space where it will offer job training and outreach services. Hillside will also provide support to residents living in 16 of the apartments that have been set aside for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

HCR provided an allocation of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for Warfield Square on East Main that will generate $13 million in equity by Enterprise Community Investment for the development; a Housing Trust Fund loan of more than $1.1 million and an Urban Rural and Community Investment Fund loan of $135,000. OPWDD is providing a loan of nearly $1.8 million while the City of Rochester is providing $700,000 and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority providing $67,000.

Since 2011, HCR has built and preserved about 3,600 affordable homes in Monroe County, investing more than $328 million for developments valued at about $793 million. Of that, more than 2,000 are in Rochester, investing more than $176.4 million of HCR resources for developments valued at about $448.5 million.

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Acting Commissioner Kerry A. Delaney said, “Having a home in the community where the people we support can enjoy their neighborhood while receiving the services they need and want is core to OPWDD’s mission of helping people live richer lives. We are excited to be joining in this project to increase integrated housing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.”

Senator Rich Funke said, “The new Warfield Square apartments in the EMMA neighborhood are a demonstration of teamwork. Leaders from the community and business sectors, residents, families, neighbors and others came together to provide affordable housing for dozens of families. Together, our community can accomplish great things, and this is yet another example.”

Senator Joseph Robach said, “Today’s opening of Warfield Square is exciting news for the City of Rochester and the individuals and families who will call this rehabilitated building and new construction townhomes their new homes. With this development offering housing for moderate and low income residents and 16 homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, this development will allow households of diverse backgrounds the ability to access critically important housing opportunities.”

Assemblyman David Gantt said, “As an advocate for Warfield Square on East Main, I see it as a concrete example of what can happen when the government and public sectors combine their expertise. I commend Governor Cuomo’s team at HCR and OPWDD, the City of Rochester, Home Leasing and Hillside. Residents have great, new, homes, and the East District grows stronger as a community.”  

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, “This project is a tremendous win for Monroe County and the residents who live here. By offering both affordable homes and supportive services for individuals with disabilities, Warfield Square will only enhance our efforts to build stronger families here in our community. Thank you to the NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Home Leasing and the many project partners for their work in making this development a reality.” 

Rochester Mayor A. Warren said, “Warfield Square is going to be a tremendous addition to East Main Street as it will give the residents it serves a foundation on which to build their lives and reach their full potential. Of course, I am elated that this beautiful development will be named for the Warfield Family, whose matriarch, the Rev. Vernice Warfield, lived in that neighborhood for 65 years and dedicated her life to helping others. I am grateful to New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Home Leasing for working with the community and bringing this development to reality and helping us advance our goals of creating more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”

Councilwoman Elaine Spaull said, “I am grateful to New York State and the other supportive stakeholders who continue to invest in Rochester so we can provide safe, respectful and affordable housing to our most precious resources – our citizens!”

Nelson Leenhouts, Home Leasing Chairman and CEO said, “We are so pleased to see the Warfield Square community open its doors. Our hope for the new residents of Warfield Square is that they will have a beautiful and affordable home in a vibrant community. We are so happy to have partnered with the City of Rochester, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Hillside Family of Agencies, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Chase Bank and Enterprise Community Partners.”

Hillside Family of Agencies Interim Chief Executive Officer Maria Cristalli said, “We are delighted to see the fulfillment of this long-planned collaboration among Hillside and Home Leasing, the City of Rochester and State of New York and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Warfield Square and its residents will be a real asset to this community.”

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 
Today’s announcement complements Finger Lakes Forward, the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.