(August 12, 2021) New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced the completion of Hillside Crossing, a new seven-building, 85-apartment affordable development located in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood. Twenty-six units are set aside for people in need of supportive services to live independently.
“Investing in high-quality, supportive housing developments is how we recover from the COVID pandemic in a way that enhances lives and truly benefits the entire community," Commissioner Visnauskas said. “The $40 million Hillside Crossing complex transformed decayed and blighted properties in Hamilton Hill into 85 beautiful, sustainable and affordable new homes. The dedication demonstrated by The Community Builders, the city of Schenectady, and the state of New York brought this project home – and made it home for hundreds of people. That’s true progress.”
Hillside Crossing consists of a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The rents are affordable to tenants earning a range of incomes at or below 70 percent of the Area Median Income. There is one five-story mid-rise elevator building with 54 apartments, three low-rise buildings with 21 apartments and three two-story townhouse buildings with 10 apartments.
Amenities in the mid-rise building include on-site laundry and community space. Recreational space includes outside seating, playground, backyards, parking, and community gardening opportunities. This building will also house offices for the Schenectady Community Action Program which provides supportive services to qualifying tenants. Funding for these services is provided through an Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative award administered by the NYS Office of Mental Health.
Amenities in the low-rise development at the corner of Albany and Craig Streets include washer and dryer hookups in each unit. Recreational space includes outside seating and a playground and there is one commercial space.
The townhouse portion of the Hillside Crossing development at Stanley and Delamont Streets also includes washer and dryer hook ups in each apartment and resident parking.
The developer is nonprofit The Community Builders, Inc.
Hillside Crossing was built in accordance with New York State's policy of supporting sustainable, green and affordable housing. Design features include high-efficiency heating and cooling, all LED/high-efficiency lighting, highly effective insulation, energy saving windows, low-flow and water sense labeled plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances, and low-VOC emitting products including paints, coatings, adhesives, sealings and composite wood. In the midrise building, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority funded 100 percent geothermal heating and cooling for the residential units. In addition, two parcels on Albany Street required remediation and cleanup under the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield Cleanup Program, qualifying the project for Brownfield Tax Credits.
HCR funding for the $40 million development included $4.5 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $13.2 million in equity and $11.9 million in subsidy. The DEC awarded Brownfield Tax Credits that generated $2 million in equity. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability provided more than $3.3 million in Homeless Housing Assistance Program funds and NYSERDA provided nearly $293,000. Additional financing included $2 million from the Federal Home Loan Bank, $390,000 from various City of Schenectady programs and $250,000 from The Schenectady Foundation. M&T Bank provided pre-development funding and was the syndicator of the tax credits to The Royal Bank of Canada.
Hillside Crossing builds on HCR's investment in the first phase of Schenectady’s comprehensive Hamilton Hill revitalization project. The $22 million Hillside View Apartments, completed in 2018, is now 100 percent occupied with 58 apartments.
Hillside Crossing is part of the state’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. HCR is in the final year of the plan which makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing.
Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Supportive housing developments, like this one in Schenectady, give individuals living with mental illness a path to their own future. They ensure people have a safe, stable home where they can focus on their own individual goals and recovery. We are proud to be a part of the Hillside Crossing project.”
State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, “A critical component of building and maintaining vibrant communities is ensuring that they are inclusive for even the most vulnerable among us. Hillside Crossing is helping to breathe new life into a part of Schenectady in need of redevelopment. By offering supportive housing units, this development will provide safe, affordable homes to those New Yorkers who struggle with housing insecurity.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is a powerful tool advancing the redevelopment of abandoned and underutilized properties and the economic rebirth of communities across the state. Comprehensive cleanups at these two sites, complemented by the work of our partners at Homes and Community Renewal, will breathe new life into Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood and bring much-needed affordable housing opportunities to the area, energizing the local economy and improving quality of life.”
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Geothermal heat pumps provide an innovative solution to deliver clean, affordable heating and cooling to New Yorkers living in multifamily buildings such as Hillside Crossing. The completion of this 85-unit complex will ensure some of our most underserved Schenectady residents have access high-performing energy features in their apartment that can help to lower energy consumption and costs while creating a healthier, more comfortable place to live.”
Susan McCann, Vice President, New York and New Jersey, The Community Builders Inc., said, “Hillside Crossing is the continuation of our work in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood beginning with Hillside View Apartments which is a 58-unit scattered site residential development. Thirty-nine properties were purchased, a majority included blighted and vacant buildings that were subsequently demolished. We’re proud of what we accomplished with the support and guidance of local stakeholders, state and local officials.”