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Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Progress on Housing Rehabilitation and Community Revitalization Projects

(June 25, 2012)

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Progress on Housing Rehabilitation and Community Revitalization Projects

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council today announced that eleven housing rehabilitation and community development projects have signed contracts with the state and are moving forward with the first stages of $ $3,017,000 in awards from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. The projects will restore and rehabilitate homes for 205 families in Broome, Chenango, Steuben, Schuyler, and Tompkins counties. The total project will generate more than $ 5 million in economic activity to improve the lives of hundreds of New Yorkers.

“These strategic investments made through the Southern Tier Regional Council have helped address one of our critical priorities: keeping our most vulnerable citizens, especially our seniors, safe in their homes,” said David Skorton, President of Cornell University and Regional Council co-chair. “I commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment and leadership to improve homes and strengthen our communities.”

“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the Regional Council has been given the ability to support projects like these, which will help our region’s families and seniors improve their housing and quality of life,” said Tom Tranter, President & CEO of Corning Enterprises and Regional Council co-chair. “Keeping New Yorkers in safe, affordable homes is key to our mission and it is rewarding to be a part of the Governor’s mission to transform the state’s approach to economic development and bring critical resources to our region.”

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

  • $600,000 to Opportunities for Chenango, through the Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC), to renovate 40 units in Broome and Chenango Counties.
  • $400,000 to Tompkins County, through the CDBG program, to renovate 23 homes of low-and moderate income residents.
  • $400,000 to the Town of Colesville, through the CDBG program, to rehabilitate 13 owner-occupied, severely substandard housing units. Thirty-two low- and moderate-income persons will benefit from the assistance.
  • $400,000 to the City of Hornell, through the CDBG program, to rehabilitate 15 owner-occupied substandard housing units.
  • $400,000 to Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc., through NYS HOME, to rehabilitate 14 homes in Tompkins County.
  • $250,000 to Opportunities for Chenango, Inc., through Access to Home, to make accessibility improvements to 10 homes of persons with mental and physical disabilities and the frail elderly in Chenango County.
  • $144,000 to Schuyler County, through the CDBG program, to replace and repair substandard septic systems and well-water systems for 12 homes in Schuyler County.
  • $198,000 to Steuben County, through the CDBG program, to install five new private wells, and replace 10 septic systems serving up to 10 low-and moderate income owner-occupied units in Steuben County.
  • $75,000 to the County of Tompkins, through Residential Emergency Services to Offer Repairs to the Elderly Program (RESTORE), to conduct emergency housing repairs for 18 elderly homeowners in Tompkins County who may also have physical disabilities, be on public assistance or be mentally/developmentally disabled.
  • $75,000 to Arbor Development, through RESTORE, to conduct emergency housing repairs for 10 elderly or frail elderly homeowners in Steuben County.
  • $75,000 to First Ward Action Council, Inc., through RESTORE, to provide assistance to 18 seniors in the First Ward district of Binghamton, north of the Susquehanna River. This area has high number of elderly residents, and a high number of elderly residents in need of emergency repairs.

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.

HCR Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns said, “HCR is proud to work alongside Southern Tier regional experts, to move forward on the projects which implement its vision for economic recovery. With contacts signed, these projects are moving closer to reality and the entire region will benefit.”

The Affordable Housing Corporation 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.

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston said, “Our Seniors in Broome County helped build our community, and we must remain attentive of their needs and provide them with the maximum amount of necessary assistance. I am a strong supporter of our community’s seniors and these projects will undoubtedly help improve their quality of life.”

Steuben County Deputy Administrator Jack K. Wheeler said, “Steuben County is extremely pleased to once again be the recipient of Community Development Block Grant funding. This program provides much-needed resources for over one dozen residents to upgrade septic and water infrastructure at their homes. We thank the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council for this significant investment”

Schuyler County Administrator Timothy O' Hearn said, “We greatly appreciate the support of the Governor and Regional Council in addressing a critical need in our community. This funding will allow us to improve water quality and housing opportunities. We look forward to a continued partnership and are extremely optimistic that our region will experience a revitalization and growth in our economy.”

Ed Marx, Commissioner of Planning and Community Sustainability for Tompkins County said, “The funding provided to Tompkins County will directly address the health and safety of families living in homes where essential elements, such as roofs or private water supplies, are in dire need of repair. Without this help these families would be unable to afford these repairs and would continue to live in potentially unhealthy or unsafe conditions. We very much appreciate the opportunity to partner with the State of New York and our local partner, Better Housing for Tompkins County, to make this funding available to families in need.”

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.

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 NYS HOME program funds a variety of affordable housing activities including new construction, rehabilitation/preservation, home improvement and homebuyer assistance that are undertaken by municipalities and not-for-profit organizations that serve as local program administrators.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit