School 75 project offers 33 supportive homes for veterans and military service-disabled individuals with community services from Western New York Veterans' Housing Coalition
√ Development repurposed long-vacant Public School 75 in William Emslie Neighborhood
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the completion of a 65-unit affordable housing development in east Buffalo. Her team said, “The long-vacant School 75 has been repurposed to offer 47 apartments, including 33 with supportive services for veterans and military service-disabled individuals, and will be home to the new corporate offices for the Western New York Veterans’ Housing Coalition. As part of the project, an additional 12 buildings were constructed throughout the neighborhood and provide 18 affordable units.”
The former school building has been dedicated as The Charlie Bush Building in honor of SPC Charles E. Bush Jr., who was killed in action on Dec. 19, 2003, in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Bush was a food service specialist assigned to the 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion, Tonawanda. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal.
“Ahead of Veterans Day this weekend, we are proud to announce new housing opportunities and services tailored for those who have bravely served our nation and deserve our ongoing support,” Hochul said. “SPC Charlie Bush made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our country and, by dedicating the building in his honor, his legacy will live on through the countless veterans who will benefit from expanded access to quality housing and resources. Every New Yorker, and especially our veterans, deserves safe and secure housing that meets their needs.”
A press release stated, “In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved 4,600 affordable homes in Buffalo. This project continues this effort and complements Gov. Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive housing plan to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
“The adaptive reuse of School 75, which was originally constructed in 1925, preserved historic architectural elements. The new structures were constructed on vacant parcels at scattered locations throughout the neighborhood.
“All 65 homes are affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income. Twenty households will receive on-site supportive services and rental subsidies funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. An additional 13 households will receive U.S. Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care rental subsidies through Erie County.”
The co-developers are the Western New York Veterans' Housing Coalition and Norstar Development USA. WNYVHC is also the service provider.
State financing for the $29 million development included $15.8 million in Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $4.7 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation awarded Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, which generated more than $6.7 million in equity. The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority is providing $72,000 through its Low-Rise New Construction program. The City of Buffalo provided $850,000 through the HOME program.