Politics · June 3, 2021

New York: Rehabilitation Completion of 70 Row Houses in Albany

Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of $56 Million Rehabilitation of 70 Historic Row Houses in Albany

New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the completion of a $56 million rehabilitation of 70 distressed row houses along historic Clinton Avenue and Ten Broeck Street in Albany.  The Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments now offers 210 safe and affordable homes for families with 40 apartments set aside for residents who are formerly homeless or at risk of homelessness, and those with mental illness who will receive on-site supportive services.

“Building attractive and vibrant downtowns where people want to live is essential for the economic health of any urban core, and New York is taking steps to fulfill that vision in the state’s capital city,” Governor Cuomo said.  “With the renovation of these blighted historic homes along Clinton Avenue, we’re providing affordable homes for families and vulnerable residents, while ushering in a new era of resurgence for Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood.  It’s also heartening to see that this project will help the community by providing apartments for formerly homeless New Yorkers and those with mental illness who need supportive services.”

The Governor’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 and Homelessness Plan.  The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested more than $490 million in the Capital Region that has created or preserved about 5,600 affordable homes.

Seventy row houses between 64 and 321 Clinton Avenue and 20 and 85 Ten Broeck Street underwent extensive renovations designed to preserve the historic character of the buildings and neighborhood while improving quality of life for residents.  The scope of work included improvements such as new roofs and windows; new boilers; new gas, water and sewer lines;  kitchen and bathroom upgrades;  new walls and flooring;  modern electrical and lighting systems to increase energy efficiency;  exterior masonry and front entry way restoration; landscaping and new sidewalks.  The renovations incorporated LED and Energy Star lighting, Energy Star appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures and highly-efficient hot water heaters.

Most of the apartments are affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income with 32 apartments affordable to households earning up to 90 percent of the AMI. Forty households will receive rental subsidies and supportive services through the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health.  On-site support is provided by DePaul Community Services, Inc. which will coordinate health care, employment, educational, vocational rehabilitation, and clinical services.  The project was developed by Home Leasing, LLC.

Financing for Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments includes $3.6 million in tax-exempt bonds, federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $20.2 million in equity, and $19 million in subsidy from HCR.  The project received federal and state historic tax credits awarded through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation that generated $12.4 million in equity. OMH will provide $1 million annually for operating costs and a $340,000 Program Development Grant for eligible start-up expenses including furnishings and staff hiring and training.

The Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments also complements the Governor’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  The DRI is investing $10 million in Albany’s Clinton Square area, which encompass portions of the Clinton Avenue and Ten Broeck Historic Districts.  The districts are listed in the State and National Register of Historic Places with the goal of bringing economic opportunities and preserving the community’s historic assets.  The project is also consistent with the goals of city of Albany’s Comprehensive Plan, launched in 2012, which identifies strategies to provide a range of decent, affordable housing choices and homeownership opportunities and maintain the supply of quality affordable housing.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The $56 million revitalization of these row houses along Clinton Avenue and Ten Broeck Street was an ambitious undertaking and the result is a truly transformed and livable neighborhood in downtown Albany.  Thanks to Home Leasing and our state agency partners, the Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments now offer 210 affordable, modern and energy-efficient homes with supportive services for those who need help to live independently.  Governor Cuomo’s ongoing investments in new housing opportunities and economic development are breathing new life into the Arbor Hill area.”

New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “The supportive housing units in the Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments will allow people living with mental illness the opportunity to live independently and successfully in their own homes and community.  Once again, Governor Cuomo’s commitment to affordable and supportive housing is providing vulnerable New Yorkers with safe and stable homes, coupled with the services they need to become valuable contributors to their communities.”

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The rehabilitation of 70 buildings in one historic community is extraordinary.  We are excited to see the Historic Tax Credit’s impact on such a large scale.  Historic buildings create opportunities for community growth.  Preservation is greater than the physical restoration of buildings.  The rehabilitation of these homes is about the preservation of community and retaining a sense of neighborhood character.”

Home Leasing CEO Bret Garwood said, “The redevelopment of the Clinton Avenue Apartments injects new life into these historic buildings, which will provide affordable homes for the residents in Albany and help improve the quality of life in the Arbor Hill neighborhood.  Thank you to New York State Homes & Community Renewal, the City of Albany, Capitalize Albany and all our partners who saw the potential in saving these buildings.”

HCR also is supporting the multi-phase redevelopment of the Ida Yarbrough Homes on North Pearl Street and Lark Drive in Arbor Hill.  It is an effort to reinvent a key location in Albany’s downtown community and develop new homes for low- and moderate- income families. Developed by the Albany Housing Authority, the Ida Yarbrough Homes is part of the Arbor Hill Neighborhood Plan to improve the housing, economic, cultural and quality of life issues in the Arbor Hill neighborhood.

Senator Neil Breslin said, “The completion of Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments will benefit Albany’s Clinton Square area and its residents for years to come.  The 70 renovated row houses mark the success of targeted investments by state and federal agencies in generating access to affordable quality housing.  I commend New York State Homes & Community Renewal, Capitalize Albany and Home Leasing LLC for their impressive work.”

Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, “The Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments will provide affordable rental housing which is key to a sustainable workforce for a region and plays an important role in our economy.  Projects like the this work to address our community’s shortage of affordable housing while also delivering direct access to resources to help individuals facing the significant and lasting consequences of mental illness and homelessness.  Thank you to NYSHCR, the Community Preservation Corporation and Albany Clinton Redevelopment for bringing this project to fruition.”

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, “We can overcome so many obstacles through long-term investments that make our neighborhoods better places to live and raise a family.  We need to build affordable homes that residents can be proud of, and these new apartments are a step in the right direction.  I commend State Housing & Community Renewal for prioritizing equity for those dealing with poverty and mental health issues, as well as energy efficiency by investing in state-of-the-art appliances and electrical infrastructure.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “It is exciting to see this kind of equitable residential area come to fruition while maintaining the historic character of the buildings and neighborhood.  Thanks to the rehabilitation of the Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments, families can enjoy affordable homes with improved quality of life that include new roofs, windows, utility lines, and upgraded kitchens and bathrooms.  The Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments provide quality, affordable housing and home ownership opportunities, and compliment New York State’s commitment to local investment through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative in Albany’s Clinton Square area.  This innovative transformation will also provide housing opportunities for residents who are formerly homeless or at risk of homelessness, and those with mental illness who will receive on-site supportive services.”

Capitalize Albany Corporation President and City of Albany Industrial Development Agency CEO Sarah Reginelli said, “While Home Leasing’s work in the Arbor Hill neighborhood continues – it’s exciting to see this initial investment completed and helping build strategic neighborhood connections surrounding downtown.  To ensure our communities maintain their affordability, affordable housing projects like this will continue to be a priority for the City of Albany IDA.  This rehabilitation adds to the more than 1,600 affordable housing units already assisted in the past five years alone.”