Center City Courtyard Rendering
May 6, 2024

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction on 164-Unit Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Downtown Rochester

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction on 164-Unit Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Downtown Rochester
Center City Courtyard Transforms Parking Lot into Sustainable Affordable Housing Development with On-Site Supportive Services for Vulnerable Populations
Builds on Governor Hochul’s Commitment to Increase Housing Supply Across New York
Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction has begun on Center City Courtyard in downtown Rochester, an affordable housing development featuring 164 apartments, including 95 units for individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness who will have access to on-site supportive services.

“I am committed to increasing the housing supply to ensure that all New Yorkers have a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home,” Governor Hochul said. “Bringing 164 modern homes will not only improve lives and set residents on a path to success, but thanks to the development’s energy-efficient design, we’re also building a stronger, healthier, and greener community for all.”

In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved over 3,800 affordable homes in Rochester. Center City Courtyard continues this effort and is part of 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.

Center City Courtyard will be constructed on a surface parking lot on West Main Street in downtown Rochester. The five-story building will include 164 apartments for households earning at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income.

There will be 95 apartments reserved for households experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, including veterans and individuals reentering the community following a period of incarceration. These residents will have access to on-site supportive services and rental subsidies funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the Office of Mental Health. The service providers are Helio Health, the Urban League of Rochester, and Eagle Star Housing.

Center City Courtyard is supported by $902,000 from the Clean Energy Initiative, a partnership between HCR and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for improved decarbonization scopes of work in affordable housing. The all-electric building, which features a rooftop solar array, will utilize highly efficient air source heat pumps for heating and cooling. Center City Courtyard is expected to receive certifications from the Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Homes, Enterprise Green Communities 2020 Plus, and Environmental Protection Agency Indoor AirPlus.

Residential amenities will include free Wi-Fi internet, a laundry room, a community room, fitness center, and a landscaped courtyard with seating areas. There will be 68 parking spaces and nearly 3,000 square feet of office space for the supportive service providers.

The developer team is a joint venture between HELPDevCo and CSD Housing, LLC.

State financing for the development includes $3 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, $30.5 million in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and $25 million in subsidy from HCR. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is providing nearly $8 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. OMH will provide $2.3 million in operating funding annually to support 95 ESSHI units.  OMH will also provide a one-time program development grant of $235,000. The city of Rochester awarded $1 million in HOME funds.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “This latest State investment in Rochester is boosting the city’s housing supply and helping more residents access healthy, supportive, and affordable homes in thriving neighborhoods. Importantly, Center City Courtyard will also provide long-term housing stability and critical on-site services for 95 residents experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, including veterans and justice-involved individuals. Developments like this one are part of Governor Hochul’s strategy to address New York’s housing shortage, fight housing insecurity, and strengthen our local economies. Thank you to our dedicated development partners at HELPDevCo and CSD Housing for making this development possible.”

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “The Homeless Housing and Assistance Program’s investment in Center City Courtyard in downtown Rochester will provide stable housing with easy access to essential support services to some of Monroe County’s most vulnerable residents, including formerly homeless veterans. Governor Hochul rightly recognizes the central role permanent supportive housing plays in empowering formerly homeless individuals and families to break the cycle of homelessness.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Construction of Center City Courtyard will provide safe, supportive, and affordable housing for vulnerable Rochester residents by incorporating the latest energy efficient appliances and advanced building materials for a healthier, more comfortable living environment. Zero-emission projects like Center City Courtyard demonstrate that advancing our efforts to fight climate change by eliminating emissions from the state’s building stock can be cost-effective and at the same time help to improve quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “I’m grateful for Gov. Hochul’s efforts to secure funding for this project, which will serve members of our community at-risk of homelessness. The combination of affordable housing and support services under one roof will make a difference in so many lives. We appreciate the Governor’s support for our ongoing efforts to combat homelessness in Monroe County."

Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “I am proud to see a major investment being made within the heart of Rochester to support the members of our community. Center City Courtyard will not only provide safe and centralized housing, but on-site services as well that will holistically address the trauma of homelessness we see on a daily basis within our community. Affordable housing developments such as these will provide essential support to our residents and families while continuing the important work of revitalizing our downtown area. I am hopeful that this project only represents the start of a larger commitment towards building an equitable future for the people of Rochester."

City of Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans said, "Center City Courtyard represents not only a new housing development for our community, it represents the strengthening of our neighborhoods. We are grateful to Governor Hochul, CSD Housing, and the many community partners and residents who work tirelessly to bring more affordable housing to Rochester. Together, we are marking another step forward in our commitment to building a stronger, hope-filled Rochester that delivers opportunity for everyone."

HELPDevCo President David Cleghorn said, “HELPDevCo is excited and proud to work with our partners on bringing much needed affordable and supportive housing to Rochester.”

CSD Housing Managing Member Michael Dehmler said, “CSD Housing is thrilled to be able to provide high quality affordable housing for individuals and families to enjoy all the nearby amenities that Downtown Rochester has to offer. This project is replacing an old parking lot with a beautiful 5-story building with 164 units and a landscaped courtyard for residents to enjoy. Thank you to all of our partners contributing to this great project.”

Eagle Star Housing Executive Director Zachary Fuller said, “Eagle Star Housing is honored to be involved in the development of Center City Courtyard in downtown Rochester,” said Executive Director of Eagle Star Housing, Zachary Fuller. “We look forward to continuing to provide quality, affordable housing with linkages to supportive services to improve the lives of Veterans and other vulnerable populations with the support of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Office of Mental Health, CSD Housing, LLC and HELPDevCo, Inc. and through this collaboration with our community partners at Helio Health and the Urban League of Rochester.”