Schenectady County Joined with New York State and Community Leaders to Open the New Joseph Allen Apartments on Albany Street
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), DePaul, local officials and leaders and project partners today celebrated the new $17.6 million Joseph L. Allen Apartments at an Open House.
The three-story, 52,500 square foot affordable housing development at 780 Albany Street features 51 new studio, one- and two-bedroom units, 25 of which will be set aside as supportive housing for individuals requiring services to live independently in the community. The $17.6 million development is part of Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented commitment to affordable housing which includes $20 billion to build or preserve 100,000 units of affordable, and 6,000 units of supportive housing across the State.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The Joseph L. Allen Apartments are doing for Hamilton Hill what Governor Cuomo’s aggressive plan is doing across the state – providing affordable and supportive housing so more New Yorkers can live independent lives in the communities they love. This nearly $18 million development enhances the lives of 51 households, strengthens the neighborhood and advances Schenectady’s vibrant revitalization drive.”
New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan said “the supportive housing units in the Joseph L. Allen Apartments will enable individuals living with mental illness to live and thrive in their communities. With stable housing that supports their recovery, individuals living with mental illness or substance abuse are able to become valuable contributors to their communities.”
The apartments are named to honor the memory of Schenectady’s first African-American City Councilman, Joseph L. Allen. The new apartments are available to neighborhood residents who earn up to sixty percent of area median income. For a two-person household, the income limit is approximately $34,920 and for a four-person household, the income limit is approximately $49,860. All apartments feature fully-equipped kitchens with a range/refrigerator and microwave, a wall-mounted TV including basic cable service, and in-unit storage. Heat, air conditioning, hot water and electric are included in the rent and community laundry facilities are available at no cost. Tenants have access to a computer lab with Wi-Fi access throughout the building, community room and lounges.
Partners involved in the project are DePaul, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR), the City of Schenectady and Mayor Gary McCarthy and Councilwoman Marion Porterfield, Schenectady County, the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, Schenectady Community Action Program (SCAP), Red Stone Equity Manager, JPMorgan Chase, Christa Construction and SWBR Architects.
DePaul President Mark H. Fuller said “DePaul is pleased to be a community partner in meeting the need for quality affordable housing options in Schenectady and throughout New York State,” said DePaul President Mark H. Fuller. “We wish to thank Governor Cuomo and the State for providing DePaul with the funding that has made this project a reality. We are so proud to be part of the revitalization of the Hamilton Hill neighborhood community and to provide homes for people in need. The DePaul Joseph L. Allen Apartments is an example of progress and partnership in action.”
Representing a $17.6 million investment in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood, the Joseph L. Allen Apartments received funding through HCR’s Housing Finance Agency’s $8.8 million of tax-exempt bonds and an award of $602,347 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits; GOSR’s award of a Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) loan of $4,725,000, in addition there are OMH loans and grants, and a grant from NYSERDA. The project received funding from OMH for case management services for some tenants.
The project incorporated “green” standards, including using Energy Star-rated appliances and lighting fixtures and high-efficiency furnaces and condensing units for heating and cooling. In addition, the Joseph L. Allen Apartments are certified to Version 3.1 of the Energy Star Certified for Homes program, Enterprise Green Communities Criteria Program 2015, and the NYSERDA Low Rise Residential New Construction program.|
Schenectady County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski said, “This is a great day for the Hamilton Hill Neighborhood as we open the new Joseph Allen Apartments on Albany Street. We congratulate the team from DePaul for constructing a beautiful, new quality building that adds so much to this neighborhood and to the City. This $18 million development not only provides affordable housing for our residents, but has led the way for additional redevelopment including more than $30 million in the surrounding neighborhood. Working together with our County economic development team, we have attracted more than $50 million in new investment to the Hamilton Hill neighborhood.”
Chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority Ray Gillen said, “When we first met DePaul we learned that they build quality housing units and the company has exceeded our expectations on Albany Street. As the lead local agency that worked with DePaul to obtain the site and get necessary approvals, we are very proud to see the opening occur and we are also excited that this new housing has leveraged additional investment so we now have more than $50 million in construction and investment going to this neighborhood.”
Debra Schimpf, Executive Director, Schenectady Community Action Program said, “Working in partnership to improve and strengthen our communities, making them better places to live, is a hallmark of the promise of Community Action. The Joseph L. Allen Apartments are a perfect example of the type of affordable housing that is needed to ensure that low-income families have access to safe, secure and cost-effective housing.”
Lakeia Allen-Bowman said, “The Joseph L. Allen Apartments will provide more housing options to individuals in this community. The building looks absolutely beautiful. It is surreal to see my father's name on the front. My entire family is grateful to DePaul and all those involved for assisting in keeping my father's legacy alive.”
Six buildings on Albany Street from Schenectady Street to Hulett Street were demolished to make way for the new apartments, with parking in the rear and green space surrounding the new building. An existing business at 780 Albany Street was relocated to 852 State Street.