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Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Announces Progress on Housing Rehabilitation and Community Revitalization Projects

(August 09, 2012)

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Announces Progress on Housing Rehabilitation and Community Revitalization Projects

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council today announced that 13 housing rehabilitation and community development projects have executed contracts with the state and are moving forward with the first stages of $3,675,000 in awards from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. The projects will restore and rehabilitate homes for 228 families throughout the Finger Lakes. The state’s funding allocation will generate nearly $5 million in economic activity to support these housing and community development projects.

“We are very pleased to see these projects moving to improve the quality of life for hundreds of hard-working families and keep them safely in their homes while also strengthening our communities and economy," said Regional Council Co-Chairs Joel Seligman and Danny Wegman. “The importance of quality, affordable housing to quality of life cannot be understated and is key to our Council’s mission of regional prosperity. It is rewarding to be a part of the Governor’s efforts to transform the state’s approach to economic development and bring critical resources to our region.”

“We are proud to work alongside Finger Lakes regional experts to move forward on these projects that will help implement its vision for economic recovery,” said Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner & CEO Darryl C. Towns. “With these projects progressing on-time, they will soon help provide hard-working families with the quality housing they deserve and truly benefit the entire region.” 

The investments made through the Regional Councils will be administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the state’s housing agency. The Finger Lakes housing rehabilitation investments include:

  • $500,000 investment to Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc., through the HOME program, to rehabilitate 14 homes and replace four mobile homes in Monroe County, excluding the City of Rochester
  • $400,000 investment to the City of Canandaigua, through the CDBG program, to renovate 42 homes in the Thompson Apartments in the City of Canandaigua
  • $400,000 investment to the Village of Mount Morris, through the CDBG program, to rehabilitate 16 owner-occupied substandard housing units in the Village of Mount Morris
  • $400,000 investment to the Town of Conesus, through the CDBG program, to rehabilitate 15 severely substandard homes in the town
  • $400,000 investment to the Town of Mount Morris, through the CDBG program, to rehabilitate 13 severely substandard homes in the town
  • $400,000 investment to Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc., through the HOME program, to rehabilitate 12 homes and replace two mobile homes in Yates County
  • $400,000 investment to Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc., through the HOME program, to rehabilitate 12 homes and replace two mobile homes in Seneca County
  • $300,000 investment to Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc., through Access to Home, to make accessibility improvements to 16 homes of people with physical disabilities and frail elderly in Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, and Yates Counties
  • $200,000 investment to Marketview Heights Association, Inc., through Access to Home, to make accessibility improvements to 10 homes of people with physical disabilities, disabled veterans, and frail elderly in the City of Rochester
  • $75,000 investment to Wyoming County Community Action, Inc., through the RESTORE program, to conduct emergency housing repairs for 25 elderly or frail elderly homeowners in Wyoming County
  • $75,000 investment to Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc., through the RESTORE program, to conduct emergency repairs to 16 homes of senior citizens in Ontario and Wayne Counties
  • $75,000 investment to Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, Inc., through the RESTORE program, to conduct emergency housing repairs for 17 elderly and frail elderly homeowners in Genesee County
  • $50,000 investment to Habitat for Humanity NYS, through the AHC program, to improve approximately 12 homes in the City of Rochester

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. As part of that process, $3.675 million was awarded to these projects through the RESTORE, HOME, Access to Home, and Community Block Development Grant programs, as well as from the Affordable Housing Corporation, which are administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said, “Monroe County is proud to partner with New York State as we continue to focus on the revitalization of the Finger Lakes Region, including housing for residents in need, seniors, and veterans. This significant investment in existing infrastructure will certainly add to a higher quality of life for our aging population and will generate additional economic growth across the upstate region. “ 

James Hoffman, Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors said, “Safe, affordable housing is important for a healthy community. Wayne County will benefit from this recent round of funding and appreciates the support.”

H. Taylor Fitch, Chairman of the Yates County Legislature said, “Yates County is very appreciative of being a part of the Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation Investment Grant award from the Finger Lakes Economic Development Council. Making housing more accessible to people with disabilities and the frail elderly is important to help keep people in their own home. The longer a person is able to stay in their own home the more satisfaction for that person and a better health outcome.”

Mary Pat Hancock, Chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature said, “I think these projects will work out well. The regional approach was really the only way to go. For too long we tried the ‘cookie cutter’ approach to economic initiatives—what worked for one area would obviously work in another – but that is not true. By allowing the leading educational and business minds in our region to make independent economic choices, we’re able to capitalize on the region’s unique assets to strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

Ted Fafinski, Chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors said, “This initiative is especially needed to improve the quality of life for the elderly and our most vulnerable citizens. It’s a good initiative, and a great opportunity for people to help people.”

A.D. Berwanger, Chairman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors said, “With the $75,000.00 Award by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council to Wyoming County Community Action, twenty-five Wyoming County senior citizens will be enabled to improve their homes with this appropriation. Wyoming County Community Action has a tremendous track record of improving properties of the disadvantaged and by working with the Regional Council we are able to raise the bar as an improvement in the standard of living for the residents of Wyoming County.”

The RESTORE (Residential Emergency Services to Offer Repairs to the Elderly) Program awards funds through municipalities and not-for profit organizations serving as local program administrators to pay for the cost of emergency repairs to eliminate hazardous conditions in homes owned by the elderly who are unable to afford to make repairs in a timely manner. To be eligible for assistance, homeowners must be 60 years of age or older, live in a 1-4 family house and have a household income which does not exceed 80 percent of area median income.

The federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides financial assistance to eligible counties, cities, towns, and villages to help develop viable communities by providing decent affordable housing and expanding economic opportunities. The grants are awarded through the Housing Trust Fund Corporation.

Access to Home provides financial assistance to homeowners and rental property owners through municipalities and not-for-profit organizations serving as local program administrators, to make dwelling units accessible for low- and moderate-income persons with disabilities. The assistance is typically structured as a forgivable zero percent interest loan.

The HOME Program is a federally-funded allocation to expand the supply of affordable housing stock. HOME funds a variety of affordable housing activities including new construction, rehabilitation/preservation, home improvement and home buyer assistance that are undertaken by municipalities and not-for-profit organizations that serve as local program administrators.

The Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) within HCR supports homeownership opportunities for low and moderate- income families by providing grants to municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to assist in the costs of home improvements, the rehabilitation of existing housing and the new construction of homes for homebuyers.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For information on how the New New York is working for business, please visit www.thenewny.com.

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