Photo: Monarch Commons Exterior
October 25, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Completion of 50-unit Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Onondaga County

Governor Hochul Announces Completion of 50-unit Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Onondaga County
Newly Constructed Development in Town of Cicero Creates 35 Apartments for Seniors and 15 Apartments with Supportive Services for Veterans
Investment Complements 'CNY Rising' - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of Monarch Commons, a 50-unit affordable housing development for seniors in the Onondaga County town of Cicero. The energy-efficient development includes 15 supportive homes for veterans experiencing homelessness.

“With companies like Micron moving in, Central New York and Onondaga County are poised for growth and need new housing of all types to retain the region’s diverse population and provide new opportunities for the future,” Governor Hochul said. “Monarch Commons will give seniors and veterans a safe place to live in the communities they love while enjoying the benefits of our expanding economy.”

Monarch Commons complements Governor Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will 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.   

Monarch Commons comes in advance of the development of the largest semiconductor fabrication facility in the history of the United States by Micron in Onondaga County’s neighboring town of Clay. A diverse supply of housing is needed to accommodate Central New York’s anticipated growth resulting from the monumental investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20 years at Micron.

The development consists of a single two-story building with 48 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments. All apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income.

Fifteen of Monarch Commons’ apartments are reserved for veterans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. These individuals have access to on-site supportive services provided by Soldier On, a national organization specializing in supporting veterans. Services and rental subsidies are funded by the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Monarch Commons adheres to energy efficiency and green building standards required under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's New Construction - Housing Program (Tier 3) and the project achieved LEED certification. Other energy efficient features include LED lighting, low flow plumbing fixtures, continuously operating bath fans, and all Energy Star or equivalent appliances, equipment, lighting, and fixtures.

Each apartment includes storage space, modern kitchen amenities and a patio or balcony. Bathrooms are equipped with grab bars and emergency pull cords to facilitate aging in place by the development’s senior population. Building amenities also include a lounge, community room, exercise room, and computer room. The building features a dedicated office space and separate meeting area for Soldier On, the supportive service provider to Monarch Commons’ veteran population.

State financing for the $15 million Monarch Commons included $12 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and $2.5 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. NYSERDA provided $175,000 in support. Additional financing has been provided by the CDS Wolf Foundation and the Central New York Community Foundation. CDS Monarch is the developer and operator.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Monarch Commons provides 50 secure, affordable, and energy-efficient homes for older New Yorkers and veterans in a growing and thriving suburban community. Thank you to our partners at OTDA, CDS Monarch, and Soldier On for their work on this project that will improve lives and expand the housing supply in Onondaga County at this critical time for Central New York’s economy."

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “Governor Hochul recognizes the sacrifices made by our veterans and our agency is committed to making sure the veterans that will reside at Monarch Commons have the support they need to be successful. The supportive services being provided onsite by Soldier On will enable veterans that have experienced homelessness to have a safe, affordable place to live where they can easily access services to help address obstacles that may have contributed to them being unhoused.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Advancing clean, resilient and affordable housing is a key component of New York State’s comprehensive emissions reduction strategy and I am thrilled to see construction complete on this project in Onondaga County. Monarch Commons highlights the State’s commitment to support our most vulnerable residents while leveraging every opportunity to increase access to affordable housing that is not only safe and comfortable but also embraces energy efficiency through the incorporation of STAR appliances and low flow plumbing.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “Every Onondaga resident deserves a safe and secure place to call home, and I am proud to see this substantial investment in both affordable housing and supportive services in the town of Cicero. By using $12 million in federal Low Income Tax Credits, which I worked hard to secure, to create 50 new affordable accessible apartments for residents in Onondaga and offering critical supportive services to seniors and veterans, this new development will help our state’s most vulnerable residents live independently. I applaud Governor Hochul's commitment to increasing access to affordable housing in Central NY and across New York State, and I will keep fighting to increase the supply of housing and create a more affordable and livable New York for all."

State Senator John W. Mannion said, “I strongly support the state’s $15 million investment in Monarch Commons in Cicero that’s bringing to market 50 units of affordable and supportive housing for seniors and veterans. I commend and thank Governor Hochul for moving this project forward and for her partnership in creating vibrant communities that cater to the needs of all residents.”

Assemblymember Al Stirpe said, “I am pleased to welcome the Monarch Commons development to Cicero. This new housing not only expands access to shelter for our seniors and veterans in Onondaga County but also provides them with the supportive services they need to thrive in their new homes. This project is a bold step forward in our commitment to ensure that all New Yorkers have a roof over their heads, and I thank Governor Hochul for supporting this vital development. I will continue working hard every day to bring more safe and affordable housing to our neighborhoods.”

Cicero Town Supervisor Michael Aregano said, "Today, we unite in celebration as we mark the grand opening of CDS Monarch Commons, right here in the heart of the Town of Cicero. CDS has been unwavering in its commitment to offering comfortable, energy-efficient apartments for our seniors and veterans. As we are well aware, the need for affordable housing for our seniors and veterans is a reality. We must persist in our collaborative efforts with County and State officials to extend this possibility to other communities across the state. Our heartfelt gratitude extends to all those who dedicated their time, effort, and passion to turn this vision into a reality."

CDS Life Transitions CEO and CDS Monarch Executive Director Andrew Sewnauth said, “Monarch Commons is more than just affordable housing. It represents a strong commitment by CDS Monarch and state and local officials to provide a safe, quality environment to the people in this community who need it and deserve it the most – veterans and all who live here. At Monarch Commons, we look forward to the incredible stories of our residents to come.”