Angela House Rendering
May 12, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Opening of $22.8 Million Supportive Housing Project in Erie County

Governor Hochul Announces Opening of $22.8 Million Supportive Housing Project in Erie County
State's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program Provides $3.6 Million to Complete Angela's House in Cheektowaga
Adaptive Reuse of Historic Villa Maria Academy Wing Provides 67 Apartments for Adults Over 55, including 21 Units of Supportive Housing

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the opening of Angela's House, a $22.8 million development that transformed a long-dormant wing of the historic Villa Maria Academy into affordable housing in the Erie County town of Cheektowaga. Funded in part by $3.6 million from the state's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, the adaptive reuse of the former all-girls high school created 67 affordable apartments, including 21 supportive units that will serve adults over the age of 55 who experienced homelessness. 

"We must ensure all New Yorkers have access to a safe, affordable place to call home - especially the most vulnerable among us," Governor Hochul said. "Angela's House breathes new life into the Villa Maria Motherhouse Complex and transforms a long-dormant historic structure into homes for older adults connecting them with the support services they need to thrive while helping address a need for supportive housing in Erie County."

Redeveloped by Delta Development of Western New York, Inc. with CB-Emmanuel Realty, the project transformed the six-story Gothic Revival structure into 55 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments. All units will serve individuals earning 60 percent of the area median income or less, with 21 units reserved for adults 55 or older who experienced homelessness.

Built to house a boarding and day high school for the Felician Sisters of St. Francis in 1927, the renovated wing was formerly occupied by Villa Maria Academy. Designed by famous Polish American architect, Joseph Fronczak, the entire Villa Maria Motherhouse Complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places after the academy closed in 2006.

Funding for the work included $3.6 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, $3.4 million through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal's Supportive Housing Opportunity Program, $300,000 through the town of Cheektowaga, and $60,000 from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In addition, the project is receiving $8.8 million in low-income housing tax credit equity, $3.4 million in federal historic tax credit equity and $2.8 million in state historic tax credit equity. Operating funding will be provided through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative through the state Department of Health.

Administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Homeless Housing Assistance Program provides capital grants and loans to not-for-profit corporations, charitable and religious organizations, and municipalities to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate housing for persons who are unable to secure adequate housing without special assistance. The grants are awarded through a competitive process by the New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, a public benefit corporation staffed by OTDA. 

The Homeless Housing and Assistance Program is an important component of Governor Hochul's $25 billion, five-year, comprehensive housing plan, which was adopted as part of the FY 2023 Budget and is aimed at creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across New York State, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations. Governor Hochul's FY 2024 Budget continues $128 million in capital funding for the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program.

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Daniel W. Tietz said. "All New Yorkers should be able to age in their community without having to face housing insecurity or homelessness, Angela's House will provide affordable homes with supportive services that will enable older adults to age with dignity in Cheektowaga. Governor Hochul's continued support for projects like this one demonstrates her true commitment to expanding housing options throughout our state, especially for the most vulnerable New Yorkers among us."

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The work being celebrated today will provide an affordable home to dozens of Western New Yorkers, including 21 apartments with supportive services for senior households that have experienced homelessness, while preserving a remarkable piece of Cheektowaga's history for generations to come.  Thank you to Governor Hochul for her commitment to expanding access to housing in communities across New York with developments like Angela's House."

New York State Department of Health Acting Commissioner Dr. James V. McDonald said, "Supportive housing programs are important health care resources that can ensure vulnerable older adults remain in their communities with access to services. Studies have demonstrated that supportive housing both increases housing stability and improves health outcomes of residents. Investments in housing like this can also have a profound impact on health care costs and utilization, including reducing inpatient hospital stays and emergency department visits. I am very thankful for Governor Hochul's continuing commitment to improving health care outcomes for at-risk New Yorkers by expanding housing options across the state."

State Senator Tim Kennedy said, "The opening of Angela's House is a prime example of repurposing part of Cheektowaga's history and incorporating it into its future. These affordable apartments will provide hope and a safe space for individuals experiencing homelessness, and underscore New York's continued commitment to investing in affordable housing opportunities statewide."

Assemblymember Monica Wallace said, "With this new residential facility, we will ensure that dozens of older adults have a safe, supportive home and never again struggle with homelessness. I'm pleased to have been able to support this wonderful project to preserve and repurpose the cherished Villa Maria Academy historic site to better serve our community. I thank Governor Hochul and the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance for their continued commitment to helping the most vulnerable individuals in our community."

CB-Emmanuel Realty Managing Director and Co-Owner Benathan Upshaw said, "Angela's House represents the fifth major affordable housing development with the New York State Housing and Community Renewal Agency in the WNY/Rochester area. This collaboration has resulted in over $85 million in investment in communities across the region and more importantly approximately 400 high quality residential units for our most vulnerable populations, including seniors at Angela's House."

Felician Sisters of North America Provincial Minister Sister Judith Marie Kubicki said, "The Felician Sisters of North America and Our Lady of Hope Province, are filled with gratitude and joy at the grand opening of Angela's House. We recently conducted a blessing ceremony at Angela's House and pray that this holy place will provide high quality housing and services to our elderly for many years to come."

Delta Development of Western New York Interim Executive Director James F. Lonergan, said, "Affordable housing is an integral component of vibrant communities.   This project is a great example of how the combined efforts from HCR, national, regional and local partners can come together to have a meaningful impact on our communities.  Closed in 2006, the former Villa Maria Academy will find new life and purpose in providing quality, affordable and accessible housing for Seniors across the region.  We are thankful for the Felician Sisters of North America to give us the opportunity to carry on their legacy and tradition in one of their buildings which for many generations gave so much to the community it served."

Catholic Charities of Buffalo President and CEO Deacon Steve Schumer said, "Catholic Charities is pleased to offer to adults 55 and older who are currently homeless the opportunity for a permanent living situation in a new apartment. In addition to low-barrier, affordable housing, these apartments offer health care and supportive services to help individuals lead more stable lives."