Yesterday, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced the start of construction on a project that will bring 53 new homes to Rochester's Beechwood neighborhood.
With a budget of $27 million, this scattered site development will involve demolishing outdated properties operated by the Rochester Housing Authority and rehabilitating others to create homes across 25 different locations.
"The work starting today will inject millions of dollars into the revitalization of the Beechwood neighborhood, providing much-needed housing opportunities in the city,” Hochul said. “My administration is dedicated to finding solutions to the housing crisis in our state, ensuring that New Yorkers have access to affordable, energy-efficient homes that will enhance neighborhoods for generations to come."
This development is part of the governor’s “Comprehensive Housing Plan”, which aims to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes throughout New York, including 10,000 homes with support services for vulnerable populations. Additionally, the plan includes the electrification of an extra 50,000 homes.
The project primarily focuses on the Beechwood neighborhood, supporting the community revitalization goals outlined in Rochester's 2034 Comprehensive Plan. The Beechwood Neighborhood Association is collaborating on the development, with the shared objective of enhancing the neighborhood's unique character.
As part of the construction, eight dilapidated structures at the Rochester Housing Authority's Federal Street property will be demolished. In their place, two low-rise multi-family buildings and a single-family home will be constructed, resulting in a total of 18 new homes.
The remaining construction sites will involve either replacing or substantially rehabilitating 35 existing homes. These homes will consist of two-, three-, and four-bedroom units, designed to be affordable for households earning between 30 and 90 percent of the Area Median Income.
Furthermore, the development will include nine apartments equipped with supportive services for individuals who have a criminal justice history and are experiencing homelessness. Rental subsidies and services will be funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, with Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach serving as the supportive service provider.
In line with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's New Construction — Housing Program Tier 4 criteria, the development will incorporate Energy Star appliances, low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting, and solar panels on one of the buildings at the Federal Street site. The rehabilitated homes will also receive upgrades such as new high-efficiency boilers, improved ventilation, enhanced insulation, and window replacements. Additionally, the Federal Street site will feature amenities like free Wi-Fi, an electric vehicle charging station, and a playground.
The Rochester Housing Authority is leading the project's development, with consultant Edgemere Development providing support. Financing for the development includes $13 million in State and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, $7 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, $2 million from the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program administered by OTDA, and $85,500 in funding from NYSERDA. The Community Preservation Corporation is also contributing a SONYMA-insured $2 million permanent loan through its partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Additionally, the city of Rochester and Rochester Housing Authority are providing $400,000 in subsidies.
Over the past five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested over $200 million in creating or preserving more than 2,100 affordable apartments in the city of Rochester, including the recently completed Edna Craven Estates.