Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of a $20 million renovation of the Eastern Gardens Apartments in the Herkimer Village of Herkimer County. Now known as Stone Ridge Mills, the rehabilitated public housing development offers 63 new energy-efficient and affordable homes for families.
"We are aggressively working to create and preserve much-needed affordable housing throughout the Mohawk Valley and across the state, in our commitment to strengthen the community and allow New Yorkers to live safely and in dignity," Governor Hochul said. "This upgraded Stone Ridge Mills apartment complex will offer modern and affordable homes, providing village residents with a comfortable, affordable, and healthy environment."
Built in 1954, the original complex included seven two-story buildings with 48 apartments. Rehabilitation work included new roofs and siding, energy-efficient windows, open floor plans, upgraded security systems, high-efficiency lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, new kitchens and bathrooms and Energy Star appliances.
The project also includes the construction of an additional two-story building with 15 brand-new apartments. All buildings meet the standards of the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority's low-rise residential new construction program, EPA's Performance Path with Energy Star and those of Enterprise Green Communities.
Stone Ridge Mills features 14 one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom, ten three-bedroom, and five four-bedroom apartments. Most apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income.
There are eight fully accessible apartments for mobility-impaired residents and five fully accessible apartments for hearing/vision impaired residents. Seven apartments are set aside for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Stone Ridge Mills is conveniently located near public transportation, shopping, a bank, hospital, and Herkimer College.
An existing Head Start facility that provides free on-site programs for children is being relocated from the community building to another Herkimer Housing Authority property, Stone Ridge Daycare, so that the building can be returned for use as community space. The rehabilitated community building now has energy-efficient mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression systems and accessible laundry facilities, as well as new playgrounds and sidewalks.
The developer is the Herkimer Housing Authority with Edgemere serving as housing consultant. State financing for the development is through New York State Homes and Community Renewal's allocation of Federal and State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated nearly $16 million in equity and $2.4 million from the Public Housing Preservation program. An additional $1.3 million was awarded by HCR through the Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund to finance the relocation and upgrade of the Head Start facility. NYSERDA provided $63,000 in support.
The rehabilitation of Stone Ridge Mills is part of the state's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan to make housing accessible and to combat homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 homes with supportive services. In the last decade, HCR has invested more than $265 million in the Mohawk Valley which has created or preserved nearly 2,600 affordable homes.
RuthAnne Visnauskas, HCR Commissioner, said, "We are proud to partner with the Herkimer Housing Authority on this $20 million project to renovate, expand, and preserve affordability at Stone Ridge Mills. All 63 apartments now boast modern and energy-efficient features and improved accessibility. Public housing is a critical resource that needs our continued investment so we can make certain New York's families have a place to call home for decades to come."
Richard Dowe, Herkimer Housing Authority (Stone Ridge Residences) Executive Director said, "We are grateful to have received this funding, and we are very excited about the opportunity it provides for change. We're better equipped to serve all of our residents, making our apartments a truly inclusive environment."
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, "The completion of the Eastern Garden Apartments public housing development is another step forward in New York's expansion of affordable, energy efficient and healthy housing across the state, including for our most vulnerable populations. NYSERDA's support for the project's high-performance systems and features reflects the state's continued commitment to reducing harmful emissions while providing the benefits of clean energy investments to all New Yorkers."
Senator Peter Oberacker said, "Quality, affordable housing pays community dividends in so many ways. The renovated Stone Ridge Mills complex addresses key needs in Herkimer County and will provide a critical foundation for families and individuals. Designed with accessibility and energy efficiency in mind, along with an eye toward much needed child development programs, this housing development is a model that should be followed across the state."
Assembly Member Robert J. Smullen said, "The new upgrades going towards Stone Ridge Mills are a welcome investment for affordable housing patrons. The expansion of transit accessibility options, daycare amenities, and overall improvement of lifestyle to the residents is wonderful to see in the Mohawk Valley."
Vincent J. Bono, Chairman of the Herkimer County Board of Legislators, said, 'Stone Ridge Mills is a welcome addition to the residents it serves providing a vibrant, efficient and affordable living space for the community. This much needed investment is a model of what affordable and sustainable housing should look like. Congratulations to All on this great achievement."
Mayor Mark Netti said, "This major rehabilitation effort at Stone Ridge Mills ensures that the development will continue providing safe and decent affordable homes for residents for many years. The beautifully renovated buildings and upgraded Head Start facility have made Herkimer an even better place to live, work and raise a family. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this project possible."