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Hochul: $57 million upgrade of affordable housing development in Buffalo


Fri, Feb 4th 2022 10:55 am

‘Substantial’ rehabilitation at McCarley Gardens Apartments set to preserve affordability, improve energy efficiency & safety for 149 low-income families

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced the start of a $57 million “substantial” rehabilitation of an affordable housing development in downtown Buffalo. The planned renovations at McCarley Gardens Apartments are said to improve energy efficiency and enhance overall quality of life for 149 families, while maintaining affordable rents.

"We are working tirelessly to expand much-needed affordable housing throughout New York state, and this new housing upgrade will help strengthen Buffalo's community and allow New Yorkers to live safely and sustainably," Hochul said. "Projects like McCarley Gardens Apartments are a key part of my administration's commitment to provide modern and affordable homes, and to build towards a more prosperous future for hardworking families in Buffalo and beyond."

Hochul’s team said, “McCarley Gardens Apartments is part of Gov. Hochul's sweeping plans to make housing more affordable, equitable and stable. This year, the state is poised to reach the goal of its current housing plan of creating and preserving 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with support services. Gov. Hochul is building on this successful effort with a proposal for a new $25 billion, five-year housing plan that will create and preserve an additional 100,000 affordable homes in urban and rural areas across New York, including 10,000 with support services.”

McCarley Gardens Apartments consists of 21 townhome-style buildings that were built in 1978, said to now be in need of improvement. As part of the rehabilitation project, four additional two-story townhome buildings will be constructed on the campus.

When work is complete, the development will offer 27 two-bedroom apartments, 94 three-bedroom apartments and 28 four-bedroom apartments. All 149 apartments are said to be affordable for households with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income.

The scope of renovations will include the installation of new kitchens with upgraded appliances, fixtures, cabinets and countertops; new, low-flow bathroom fixtures; and cosmetic upgrades that include new flooring and new paint. Site work will include replacement of storm and sewer lines, repaving parking areas, new sidewalks and landscaping.

To improve energy efficiency, each building will receive upgraded insulation, new windows, Energy Star-rated appliances, and high-efficiency boilers and hot water heaters where needed. The renovations are expected to reduce overall energy usage by approximately 29%.

Residential amenities include free parking for residents, a playground, and a 900 square-foot community room.

McCarley Gardens campus is adjacent to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and Buffalo's central business district. Hochul’s team said it will “serve Buffalo's essential workers with high-quality, affordable housing options within walking distance of their workplace.”

The development team consists of St. John's Baptist Church, BFC Partners and Sinatra & Co. Real Estate. State financing includes $10.2 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal low-income housing tax credits that generated $24.3 million in equity and $9 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will provide $94,500 in support. Additional financing is being provided through subordinated debt and a deferred developer fee.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Building a more equitable New York starts with expanding access to affordable housing and the many opportunities that a good home can provide. With this $57 million investment in McCarley Gardens Apartments, we are creating a healthier, safer and more comfortable living environment for 149 families, who will also benefit from lower energy bills, upgraded amenities, and easy access to transit in downtown. Our partnerships with Buffalo's faith-based community, including St. John's Baptist Church, have been instrumental in our efforts to deliver quality affordable homes and essential services across the city. We are grateful for their support, and to have a leader like Gov. Hochul, who understands that protecting and preserving existing housing developments is essential to ending housing insecurity once and for all."

BFC Partners Principal Donald Capoccia said, "We are thrilled to be breaking ground on this critically important project today. McCarley Gardens has been an integral part of the Buffalo community for over 40 years and, through our partnership with St. Johns, we can ensure that it continues to serve longtime residents and future families for generations to come with affordable rents. We are committed to listening to the residents of McCarley Gardens and look forward to working with them on this community-driven project."

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "The upgrades made to the McCarley Gardens Apartments is another example of Gov. Hochul's commitment to providing low-income New Yorkers with access to affordable housing that incorporates sustainable measures – from energy-efficient appliances to the building shell improvements and clean solar energy – that will improve air quality and reduce costs for residents. NYSERDA is pleased to see this project break ground and demonstrate that we can rehabilitate our existing buildings to increase comfort and reduce emissions, as well as ensure that new construction is climate-friendly and accessible to all New Yorkers."

Congressman Brian Higgins said, "Expanding and maintaining access to affordable housing is of critical importance, especially for the hardworking people of Buffalo and Western New York. This is among the growing number of local projects utilizing federal low-income tax credits to offer quality, reasonably priced living options that help contribute to stronger families and a vibrant community."

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "The $56 million rehabilitation for McCarley Gardens in Buffalo's eastside is long overdue and will provide modernized affordable homes for city residents, serving as a shining example of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal's commitment to revitalize our community. I applaud BFC Partners, St. John Baptist Church, Sinatra & Co, and the community stakeholders whose leadership contributed to making this community-driven project a reality."

Mayor Byron Brown said, "This is a tremendous project that will build on my administration's continuing effort to create more attractive, safe and affordable housing units in the City of Buffalo. The city is pleased to contribute to the McCarley Gardens Apartments project with approximately $1 million through the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency. I thank the development team and New York State Homes and Community Renewal for their vision and investment in the expansion and modernization of this fruitbelt neighborhood housing complex."

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