Champlain Commons Combines Workforce and Supportive Housing
Investment Complements “CNY Rising” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
October 17, 2018 – New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced the start of construction of a new $13.5 million, 56-unit affordable workforce housing development for families in the Town of Scriba. Champlain Commons will include 17 apartments with services and support through the State’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, a 5-year plan to develop 6,000 units of housing with services that help vulnerable people live independently in their communities.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Expanding affordable housing opportunities and combining them with services to help ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have the support they need to stay in their new home, is essential to winning the fight against homelessness. For 56 households, Champlain Commons will be more than a roof over their heads, it will be a jumping off point to economic success and with this investment we are helping Central New York continue to rise.”
The State’s commitment to strengthening communities and growing the Central New York economy is reflected in CNY Rising, a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative that builds on the more than $5.6 billion the State has injected in the region since 2012. The State’s investment in Champlain Commons complements CNY Rising by increasing access to high quality affordable housing that provides supportive services to help residents live independently in their community.
Champlain Commons will serve a broad base of income eligible residents, as the apartments will be available to households earning at or below 30, 50 and 60 percent of the area median income. Seventeen apartments will be reserved for individuals who will receive onsite supportive services from Oswego County Opportunities, a nonprofit human services provider that supports 20,000 people annually. Oswego Opportunities is co-developing the project with Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, a leader in affordable housing development in New York that has created or preserved more than 1,700 homes.
Champlain Commons will consist of seven two-story apartment buildings and a separate community building with a kitchen, meeting space, offices, computer room, laundry facilities, and a fenced in playground. The development is near employment centers, a bus stop and a day care center.
Champlain Commons will meet NYSERDA Low Rise New Construction Program and LEED Version 4 BD&C Homes Program energy and green building standards. All buildings will have Energy Star rated central air conditioning, heating with sealed combustion chambers, lighting, fans and appliances.
Champlain Commons reflects the State’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the state's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 of supportive housing. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing, community development, and rent stabilization. Since 2011, HCR has invested $190 million in Central New York that has created affordable housing for about 7,700 residents.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal financing for the $13.5 million project includes federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $9.5 million in equity, and a $500,000 in subsidy from the Supportive Housing Opportunity Program. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program awarded $3.1 million to Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. for Champlain Commons. Funding to provide services and operations for 17 supportive housing units was supplied through the State’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI). ESSHI will provide $25,000 per unit, for a total of $425,000 annually. By meeting the Low Rise New Construction Program design requirements, the project will qualify for a $53,600 incentive award from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, “This project underscores Governor Cuomo’s commitment to increasing the availability of affordable and supportive housing to address the homeless crisis. The supportive units being created will provide not just a home, but the services needed to help individuals who have experienced homelessness to stabilize their lives.”
Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative is providing homeless individuals and families with the stable housing and integrated services they need to help them with their life challenges and their journey to recovery from mental illness. Thanks to developments like Champlain Commons, more vulnerable New Yorkers are able to live their lives with independence and dignity.”
Senator Patricia A. Ritchie said, "The health of community is only as strong as the people who live in them. Providing people a quality, safe and affordable place to call home is central in our efforts to ensure that our people are given every chance to succeed, raise a family and have one less worry when it comes to paying the monthly bills. I look forward to seeing just how much of a positive impact these new homes will have on Scriba, Oswego County and New York State.”
Assemblyman Will Barclay said, “Congratulations to OCO and the Cornerstone Group on the announced groundbreaking of Champlain Commons—a 56-unit housing development. Because of their efforts, Oswego County will soon have new, quality housing which will include apartments for victims of domestic violence, those with special needs, and those facing addiction. I was happy to assist in securing state support for this important project. Our community is in need of this kind of supportive housing project that can provide a better quality of life for residents here. I look forward seeing this built.”
Oswego County Legislator Roy Reehil said, “On behalf of the Oswego County Legislature, I’d like to thank everyone involved in this project for the many hours of hard work it took to bring this development to fruition. The Champlain Commons affordable housing development will help fill specific gaps in the housing market in our region, gaps that have been identified by our local poverty reduction task forces working hand in hand with Oswego County Opportunities and our County Department of Social Services. In particular, the 17 units identified to receive direct supportive services will help some of our most disadvantaged residents to transition from dependency to self-sufficiency. That type of housing and service will fill a dire need in our community and I applaud the leadership demonstrated by Oswego County Opportunities to take the steps necessary to get us to this groundbreaking today. Again thank you all for making this possible and I look forward to visiting again upon the project’s completion.”
Scriba Town Supervisor Robert Ramsey said, “Champlain Commons will bring affordable and supportive housing options that our residents need. Thank you to New York State, Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, and Oswego County Opportunities for investing in this project that will increase quality of life in Scriba.”
Roger Brandt, President of Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, said, “Cornerstone is very pleased to be working with Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. to develop this much-needed workforce housing community for the residents of Oswego and Scriba. The efforts have taken more than five years to get to this point. OCO is a terrific community advocate which has far reaching impacts in the region. This housing and the support services shall improve the lives of many in our communities.”
Diane Cooper-Currier, Executive Director, Oswego County Opportunities, said, “OCO is thrilled to be a partner with Rochester's Cornerstone Group and our state funding partners to bring new, affordable and quality housing to Oswego County. OCO serves approximately 20,000 people annually and so many of them identify safe, affordable housing as a significant need of theirs. We are pleased that OCO's vision for more safe, affordable housing is coming to fruition through this project.”
Accelerating CNY Rising
Today's announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.