Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction is underway to create 53 new homes across Rochester’s Beechwood neighborhood. The $27 million scattered site development involves the demolition of obsolete properties operated by the Rochester Housing Authority and the substantial rehabilitation of others to create homes across 25 separate locations.
“The work beginning today will invest millions into the revitalization of the Beechwood neighborhood by creating and preserving urgently-needed housing opportunities in the city,” Governor Hochul said. “My administration remains committed to finding solutions to the state’s housing crisis that will provide New Yorkers with affordable, energy-efficient homes and enhance neighborhoods for existing residents and future generations.”
The development 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.
Located primarily within the Beechwood neighborhood, the development furthers the community revitalization goals articulated in Rochester’s 2034 Comprehensive Plan. The project is being developed in collaboration with the Beechwood Neighborhood Association with the goal of enhancing the neighborhood's character.
As part of construction, eight blighted structures at the Rochester Housing Authority’s Federal Street property, will be demolished and replaced with two low-rise multi-family buildings and a single-family home, for a total of 18 homes.
The additional construction sites will involve the replacement or substantial rehabilitation of 35 existing homes. Homes will be a mix of two-, three-, and four-bedroom units affordable to households earning between 30 and 90 percent of the Area Median Income.
The development will include nine apartments with supportive services for individuals with a criminal justice history who 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. The supportive service provider is Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach.
Designed to meet the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s New Construction — Housing Program Tier 4 criteria, the development will utilize Energy Star appliances, low-flow water fixtures, and LED lighting. Solar panels will also be installed on one of the buildings at the Federal Street site. Improvements to the rehabilitated homes will include new high-efficiency boilers, improved ventilation, enhanced insulation, and window replacements. The Federal Street site will also include free Wi-Fi, an electric vehicle charging station, and a playground.
The project is being developed by the Rochester Housing Authority with consultant Edgemere Development.
Financing for the development includes $13 million in State and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and $7 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The project also received $2 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, which is administered by OTDA. NYSERDA is providing $85,500 in funding. The Community Preservation Corporation is providing a SONYMA-insured $2 million permanent loan through its partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The city of Rochester and Rochester Housing Authority are providing $400,000 in subsidy.
In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested over $200 million to create or preserve more than 2,100 affordable apartments in the city of Rochester, including the recently completed Edna Craven Estates.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “By rehabilitating or replacing dilapidated properties across two dozen locations, this new development will be transformative for the city’s Beechwood neighborhood. Our investment is preserving much-needed public housing stock, providing supportive homes for vulnerable individuals, and improving quality of life for current and future residents. Thank you to all our public and private partners who have played an integral role in making this development a reality for Rochester.”
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “Developments that pair affordable housing with supportive services can provide the stabilizing environment often needed to help individuals break cycles of homelessness. The Rochester Housing Authority’s project along Federal Street and elsewhere in the city’s Beechwood neighborhood will offer new hope to individuals and families facing or experiencing housing instability in this area. This project, like many others in the Finger Lakes Region, demonstrates Governor Hochul’s continued commitment toward ensuring all New Yorkers can access safe, affordable housing throughout our state.”
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Incorporating energy efficient features such as energy star appliances, LED lighting, and high-performance windows and insulation into newly constructed all-electric homes for our most vulnerable citizens is pivotal to creating the next generation of healthy and modern buildings as we realize Governor Hochul’s goal to develop two million climate friendly homes by 2030. NYSERDA is proud to support the Federal Street development for their commitment to the environment and their community and congratulate them on beginning construction.”
Miriam Zinter, Vice President, Mortgage Officer at The Community Preservation Corporation said, “Rochester’s public housing has played a critical role in providing deeply affordable homes to some of our most vulnerable families. The work being done to rehabilitate the existing Federal Street properties along with the construction of 22 new units will fortify the City’s affordable housing stock, and provide safe, stable, and accessible housing to those most in need. I thank the City of Rochester and the Rochester Housing Authority, HCR, and our lending partners at the State’s Common Retirement Fund for their partnership.”
Representative Joe Morelle said, “Having a safe and stable place to call home is the key building block to a successful future Increasing the availability of equitable and inclusive housing will bring us one step closer to ensuring everyone in our community can reach this goal. I’m proud to have secured federal funding to make this project possible and appreciate Governor Hochul’s dedication and commitment to revitalizing our neighborhoods and uplifting local families.”
State Senator Samra Brouk said, “Access to affordable housing is a vital component for safe and healthy neighborhoods. By rehabilitating vacant properties, and building new homes, this project will help ensure that residents of our community have the quality housing they deserve. I’m grateful to my partners in government, as well as the Rochester Housing Authority, for their work on this project, and I look forward to continuing work to make sure that every member of our community has a safe place to call home.”
Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “I am pleased that the Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) is moving forward on a Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversion and reconstruction project for their Federal Street property and adjacent scattered sites. Undergoing these major renovations allows for greater occupancy while rehabilitating a habitable living space for several residents within our community. Improving the quality of life means prioritizing affordable housing so that families and children can sustainably thrive through desirable living conditions. This project will uplift the wealth of our neighborhoods while establishing multifamily buildings, family homes, and reconstructing existing units. Thank you to HCR, OTDA, NYSERDA, CPC, Rochester HOME, Rochester Housing Authority, and ESL Federal Credit Union.”
Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, “Today’s announcement is a great win for the families of Rochester. As so many families know, our community is in need of affordable housing and the Federal Street development will provide a place for many more families to call home. I thank NYS Homes & Community Renewal, Edgemere, Rochester Housing Authority, ESL and Rochester HOME for their continued commitment to the East Main Street corridor and the Beechwood neighborhood and our families.”
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “This housing development on Federal Street and adjacent sites aims to provide safety and stability for dozens of residents in the Beechwood neighborhood. Thank you to Governor Hochul, Edgemere and the Rochester Housing Authority for investing in quality safe housing for Rochester residents.”
Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans said, “I am grateful to Governor Hochul and the Rochester Housing Authority for their investments to improve the diversity of housing needs that we have in the Beechwood neighborhood both today and into the future. This partnership will help us accomplish our mission of creating a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by providing even more stable, affordable, energy-efficient, and high quality housing for individuals and families.”
Shawn Burr, Executive Director of the Rochester Housing Authority, said, “The Rochester Housing Authority is excited to begin this important project and extremely grateful for Governor Hochul’s continued commitment and support in developing and preserving affordable housing. Quality affordable housing is vital for our community and this project will help to achieve our goal of increasing and preserving RHA’s housing stock.”
Chris Rolan, Partner and Vice President, Edgemere Development, said, “Edgemere Development is thankful for the support, hard work and cooperation needed to make this important project happen. This project marks the beginning of a new endeavor for the Housing Authority, and we are excited to see their plans come to fruition for the community and its residents.”
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. More information is available here.