SCRIBA – Monday, Nov. 25, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the completion of Champlain Commons in Scriba, a 56-apartment, affordable housing development. Seventeen of the apartments are set aside for qualified individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and who will receive services and support to help them live independently.
“Increasing access to affordable housing is one of our top priorities, and this critical investment in the town of Scriba is building on that goal,” Cuomo said. “The completion of Champlain Commons will not only provide more New Yorkers with a safe, affordable place to call home, it will also help build stronger and better neighborhoods for Oswego County residents for generations to come.”
Cuomo’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the state’s $20 billion, five-year housing plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and providing 6,000 with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested more than $231 million in the Central New York Region. It has created or preserved 3,477 affordable homes for nearly 8,600 residents.
Champlain Commons consists 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. There are 24 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom units in the complex which is affordable to households earning at or below 30, 50 and 60 percent of the area median income.
Eligible residents placed in the 17 apartments linked to supportive care will receive onsite services funded by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance through the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. Supportive services are provided by Oswego County Opportunities, co-developer of the property with Rochester’s Cornerstone Group. One additional apartment is set aside for physically disabled tenants referred by ARISE Child and Family Service, Inc.
Champlain Commons meets energy and green building construction standards. All buildings will have Energy Star® rated central air conditioning, heating with sealed combustion chambers, lighting, fans and appliances. The development is near employment centers, a bus stop and a day care center.
Homes and Community Renewal financing for the $13.7 million project includes Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $9.5 million in equity and $500,000 through the Supportive Housing Opportunity Program. In addition, OTDA awarded $3.1 million from the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program and the Federal Home Loan Bank provided $500,000. Rents for the supportive apartments are subsidized through ESSHI. Additional funding was provided by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
A number of state and local officials offered their thoughts on the project.
Town of Scriba Supervisor Robert Ramsey said, “Champlain Commons brings more than much-needed affordable housing to our town. For the families and individuals who are living here, it offers a chance at a better, more financially stable life, with supportive services for those who need them. 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.”
Diane Cooper-Currier, Executive Director of Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., said, “Safe, affordable housing is a fundamental foundation necessary for individuals and families to overcome their obstacles to success so they can build and maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle. OCO serves hundreds of families a year that are unable to find or afford such housing as a result of limited incomes and high costs in the local rental market. In OCO’s 53 years of providing health and human services to those who are struggling to make ends meet, Champlain Commons represents our greatest leap forward in addressing these housing needs in Oswego County. Through our partnership with Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, the many funders who have invested in Champlain Commons, and community partners who have supported this project, we are grateful that we have played an integral role in making safe, affordable housing a reality for 56 families.”
Assembly Member Will Barclay said, “There is a great need for quality and affordable housing in this area and Champlain Commons will help to fill this need. Congratulations to Oswego County Opportunities for working to provide supportive housing with the help of state and federal grant dollars. Your success in facilitating this project will help improve the quality of life for more people.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s statewide affordable housing plan, Champlain Commons moved from the drawing board to reality and is helping to fill a vital need in the town of Scriba. These 56 new homes are a great addition to the community with two- and three-bedroom dwellings for working families combined with supportive housing for homeless veterans and others in need assistance. I congratulate our partners for this achievement and welcome residents to their new home.”
State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, “Rural communities often lack the resources needed to adequately address gaps in services and housing for those experiencing homelessness or living in extreme poverty. Champlain Commons brings permanent affordable and supportive housing to an area of Oswego County where these gaps previously existed. We are proud supporters of this development, which will bring new hope and stability to some of this area’s most vulnerable residents.”
Roger Brandt, President, Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, said, “Several years ago, Cornerstone came to Oswego County, as we realized that there was a need for quality, energy-efficient, safe, affordable rental communities. Our partnership with Oswego County Opportunities has been excellent. We have developed a beautiful enclave of 56 apartments which are now housing families who have undoubtedly improved the quality of their homes. We appreciate the support which the community has provided to us to carry out our plans.”