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Homes and Community Renewal

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Announces Start of Construction on Two Affordable and Supportive Housing Developments in the Finger Lakes


Keuka Gardens and Townside at Pre-Emption Will Provide 130 Affordable Homes Including 55 with Support Services

Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

November 13, 2018 - New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced the start of construction on two affordable housing developments in the Finger Lakes region that will provide a total of 130 affordable homes, including 55 that are coupled with services to help seniors and people with developmental disabilities live independently and thrive. Keuka Gardens, a $9.8 million development in the Village of Penn Yan, will provide 42 apartments, eleven of which will include support services. Townside at Pre-Emption, an $18.5 million development in the Town of Geneva, will provide 88 homes with 44 apartments that include services for frail elderly residents.


Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “These affordable, supportive housing developments will help ensure that more than 100 Penn Yan and Geneva residents have safe, comfortable apartments that they can call home while providing the services our vulnerable neighbors need to stay in a home and live independently in the communities they love. By expanding the housing opportunities for every New Yorker, we are strengthening the economy and keeping the Finger Lakes region moving forward.”

The State’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 $6.1 billion the State has injected in the region since 2012. The State’s investment in Keuka Gardens and Townside at Pre-Emption complements Finger Lakes Forward by increasing access to high quality affordable housing that provides supportive services to help residents live independently in their community.


Keuka Gardens will consist of a three-story building. The 11 supportive apartments will receive project based rental assistance from the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Supportive services will be provided by Arc of Yates.


Developed by Home Leasing, Keuka Gardens will be constructed on vacant land at 199 Brown Street in the Village of Penn Yan. Building amenities include office space for Arc of Yates, a community room, interior bicycle storage and a playground. The project is designed and will be constructed to meet the Silver certification level of the US Green Building Council LEED Rating System.


New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s financing for Keuka Gardens includes federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $6.4 million for the development, and $1.9 million in subsidy. The NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities is providing more than $1.2 million in project financing, along with ongoing rental subsidies for the 11 designated units for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Townside at Pre-Emption will be constructed on vacant land at 820 County Road in the Town of Geneva. The development will consist of eight buildings and is co-developed by Rochester’s Cornerstone Group and Genesis Housing Development Corporation.


The development’s 44 supportive apartments for frail seniors 55 and older will be in a three-story elevator building adjoined to the community building. The other 44 units for families will be in the remaining buildings.
Amenities include a 24/7 exercise room, computer room, large community room with kitchenette and outdoor patio, a fenced-in playground area, an outdoor gazebo, and a sheltered school bus loop. Each apartment will have either a patio or balcony. The development is located near public transportation, retail shopping, pharmacy and health services, Geneva Hospital and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The development is also within two miles of the City of Geneva’s downtown and Seneca Lake.


New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided $91,800 through their Low-Rise Residential New Construction program, which offers technical support and incentives to help developers improve energy efficiency performance. Energy efficient features include 96% efficiency furnaces and 15 SEER Air Conditioning units; low flow plumbing fixtures, ENERGY STAR® appliances, lighting and fixtures; low U-value windows; low or no VOC paint; and no urea-formaldehyde products throughout the buildings.


New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s financing for Townside at Pre-Emption includes federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $5.1 million for the development, and $10.8 million in subsidy from HCR’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program. The supportive units are funded by a grant from the State’s Empire State Supporting Housing Initiative to the Finger Lakes Area Counseling and Recovery and support services are provided by Rochester Regional Health.

These two developments reflect the State’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the state's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 of supportive housing. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing, community development, and rent stabilization. Since 2011, HCR has invested $442 million in the Finger Lakes region that has created affordable housing for about 14,650 residents.


Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Acting Commissioner Kerry A. Delaney said, “Projects like Keuka Gardens not only build physical structures, but also build opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to be participating members in their communities. These 11 apartments dedicated to people with developmental disabilities, and ongoing supports from OPWDD, provide people more opportunities to live the lifestyle of their choosing while receiving appropriate and timely services tailored to their individual needs.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said, “The Keuka Gardens and Townside at Pre-Emption projects are the latest example of the state’s ability to provide affordable house for our most vulnerable citizens that is safe, comfortable and energy efficient. Residents benefit from lower energy costs and greater housing choice while the use of clean, energy efficient technologies move us another step forward to achieving Governor Cuomo’s ambitious energy and climate goals.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said, “Stable, affordable housing is a key determinant of health and wellness, for both individuals and the community, which is why developments like this are so significant. This housing development is an important step toward integrating affordable housing and high-quality health care services for seniors and people with developmental disabilities.”

Senator Tom O'Mara said, "We’re grateful for this state investment to assist the work of Home Leasing to develop Keuka Gardens and provide critical affordable housing for seniors and people with developmental disabilities in Penn Yan and the surrounding region.  Keuka Gardens will make an enormous difference in hundreds of lives and we’re hopeful that this state assistance will help foster and strengthen this effort.”

Assemblyman Brian Kolb said, “The new Townside at Pre-Emption development is a welcome addition to our great community. With dozens of supportive apartments for seniors, this initiative addresses an important need in Geneva’s housing market. Its construction will create much-needed jobs, and upon its completion, it will be a boost to our local economy. I want to congratulate all of the partners and stakeholders for coming together to make this a reality.”

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said, "This investment to assist Home Leasing in the construction of Keuka Gardens is great news for Penn Yan and the entire Finger Lakes region.  This significant state support helps achieve the important goals of safe, high quality, affordable housing for seniors and people with development disabilities to be able to live independently. It addresses a growing need and, at the same time, strengthens the community at large."

Yates County Legislature Chairman Douglas Paddock said, “Keuka Gardens will be a wonderful new addition to Yates County. This development will provide much needed housing and support services that will provide a better quality of life for many of our residents. Thank you to all of our state and local partners for making this project possible.”

Ontario County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Jack Marren said, “This is exciting news for the Town and City of Geneva. This development will provide much needed new housing opportunities for our senior population. This development is strategically close to public transportation, retail shopping and many medical services that are needed by the citizens of this region. I applaud the NY State Homes and Community Renewal Program for choosing Geneva NY a growing community with housing shortages.”

Town Supervisor Mark Venuti said, “Townside at Pre-Emption will fulfill a need in Geneva for affordable workforce housing and senior housing. The Town of Geneva is committed to smart growth principles which include locating housing near services, as noted in our comprehensive plan. This development accomplishes that goal because the site is close to medical offices, restaurants, grocery stores and other amenities.  We thank all of our partners for making this project possible.” 

Penn Yan Mayor Leigh MacKerchar said, “This is a big day for Penn Yen. The shortage of affordable housing is acute in our community and Keuka Gardens is a major step in meeting the need for our residents. I am grateful to the Governor’s teams at HCR and OPWDD; Home Leasing, Arc of Yates and our private sector partners for making this day possible. Keuka Gardens is a classic example of what can happen when dedicated people work together.”

Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman and CEO of Home Leasing said, “We are very excited to get started on the construction of Keuka Gardens which will provide much-needed workforce housing to the Village of Penn Yan in the thriving Finger Lakes region. We are thankful for New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the Village of Penn Yan and all the partners we have in this project and their commitment to bringing quality, affordable homes to the residents of Penn Yan.”

Roger Brandt, President of Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, said, “Town Side at Pre Emption has been the culmination of many years of effort. With the changing delivery of housing options with much-needed services to our senior population, this development, and its partnership with Rochester Regional Health System, will be providing a supportive and affordable place for seniors in the Geneva community. We’re proud to make Town Side at Pre Emption a reality.”

Julie Everitt, Board Member, Genesis Housing Development Corporation, said, “This development provides affordable, supportive housing for this community's frail elderly as well as much needed affordable rental units for families.  We look forward to the residents becoming an integral part of this community.”

Allen Connely, Arc of Yates Executive Director said, “The Keuka Gardens project will give individuals the opportunity to afford housing on their own and create independence. We are thrilled to play a part in this community initiative.” 

Martin Teller, Executive Director, FLACRA, said, “Finger Lakes Area Counseling and Recovery Agency (FLACRA) is proud to be a partner of the Townside at Pre Emption Project with Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd. This project targeting the frail elderly in the Finger Lakes is a desperately needed service and these additional beds will surely make a difference in our community. We are very pleased to see NYS Home and Community Renewal and other funders investing in our rural areas. We congratulate Cornerstone and look forward to our continued development activities together and the ultimate opening of these units.”

Dr. Bridgette Wiefling, Senior Vice President, Rochester Regional Health/Elder One, said, “Rochester Regional Health is excited to partner with FLACRA, Cornerstone and Genesis Housing. This collaboration helps Rochester Regional Health deliver on our mission of delivering high-quality, comprehensive health care to patients from hospital to home and all places in between.” 

Steve Griffin, Executive Director, Finger Lakes Economic Development Council said, “I want to thank Home Leasing for their investment in Yates County and to New York State Home and Community Renewal and the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities for their financial contribution to help make it happen.  The lack of affordable housing units is a major challenge to the recruitment and retainment of employees in Yates County and the Keuka Gardens project is a great start toward addressing that need.” 

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 $6.1 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.

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