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Governor Cuomo Announces $26 Million Revitalization of Historic Schenectady Building

845 Commons provides affordable housing and support services for formerly homeless veterans and disabled residents

January 16, 2015 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of 845 Commons, a $26.2 million affordable housing development that provides 155 homes and support services for formerly homeless men, including veterans and those with disabilities. The project is the renovation of a historic, dilapidated industrial building at 845 Broadway into state-of-the-art, energy-efficient apartments.

“Every New Yorker deserves the opportunity for a safe, affordable home,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today we are providing this opportunity and giving hope to people, especially veterans, who need a decent place to live and services to help them succeed. This project is an innovative example of what we can accomplish when all stakeholders work together to meet the needs of our community.”

In line with Governor Cuomo's commitment to build partnerships and make government more efficient, 845 Commons leverages multiple partners, bringing three state agencies together to revitalize downtown Schenectady and meet a need for quality affordable housing. The project is the collaborative efforts of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the New York State Office for Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA), the State Historic Preservation Office, the City of Schenectady, Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, and the Capital District YMCA.

Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, HCR is working with our sister agencies and local partners to strengthen communities and make real differences in people’s lives. I want to thank Mayor McCarthy, the YMCA, Metroplex, and the Galesi Group for their commitment to the residents of 845 Commons and for turning a distressed property into something that we can all be proud of.”

“The Capital District YMCA project ensures the long-term availability of a critically needed supportive housing resource for homeless single adults in Schenectady. In keeping with all projects funded through Homeless Housing Assistance Program, a broad range of supportive services will be offered to residents,” said Linda Glassman, Deputy Commissioner, Center for Specialized Services, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. “These services, such as case management, referrals for medical and behavioral health treatment, employment training and placement, and life skills development, are designed to promote housing stability and prevent re-entry into the homeless shelter system.”

The 845 Commons renovations have resulted in a rehabilitation of an existing historic industrial building into a 96,060 square foot single residential building. The development includes 155 apartments and a commercial-grade kitchen and dining area for the residents of the building. Residents have recently moved from an existing YMCA Men’s Residence for the homeless, located at 13 State Street in downtown Schenectady, to the newly renovated building where they have their own efficiency apartments and baths. Currently, 49 Veterans are living in the units provided at 845 Commons which is also adjacent to the Schenectady County Department of Social Services Empowerment Campus. The Capital District YMCA staff will coordinate all case management services and provide staffing 24-hours a day.

Financing includes $5.5 million from OTDA's Homeless Housing Assistance Program, $6.7 million from Federal and State Historic Tax Credit equity, $11.9 million in equity from Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits administered by HCR, a $200,000 loan from Schenectady YMCA, a $200,000 subordinate loan from the City of Schenectady IDA, and a $50,000 grant from Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority. 845 Commons was developed by the Galesi Group of Rotterdam, New York (Schenectady County) and will be managed by the Schenectady YMCA.

“Governor Cuomo has a long history of supporting the Capital District YMCA. We’re grateful to the Governor for joining our efforts to strengthen our community by providing safe, affordable housing to those in need,” noted David Brown, President and CEO of the Capital District YMCA.

Congressman Paul Tonko said, “This development is a critical part of our mission to revitalize Schenectady and will go a long way to improve local infrastructure, making the area more attractive for economic expansion and job retention. I thank Governor Cuomo for his continued recognition of the unique infrastructure needs in the Capital Region, and I am very thankful of the hard work and diligence displayed each and every day by the team at New York State Homes and Community Renewal. In Washington, I will continue to support the type of targeted tax credits that support projects like these, because when the private and public sectors work together to boost our communities, everyone wins.”

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the state is investing in Schenectady and its residents, and 845 Commons is a terrific example. Veterans who’ve served our country who have sacrificed so much, and those with disabilities will have an affordable home in a building that is aiding in Schenectady’s renaissance."

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “Governor Cuomo's support for this project has given new life to a piece of Schenectady’s past and at the same time provided housing to those in need, particularly veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country. Thank you to the State of New York and to all the partners who made 845 Commons possible.”

Anthony Jasinski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature said, "Thank you Governor Cuomo for your continued support and commitment to Schenectady County, especially to this important project. Working together with our partners including the CDYMCA, the City, the Galesi Group, and the State we’ve turned this long vacant distressed building into a state-of-the-art facility that will help people in need live affordably and with dignity.”

Charles P. Steiner, Chair of the Chamber of Schenectady County said, “I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this project. State agencies came together with local partners to make 845 Commons a reality and we could not be more pleased with the results. This is an important project for the revitalization of Schenectady and for the people whose lives will be changed because they have a roof overhead and services they need to succeed.”

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