New York to construct US$17 Mn housing development for Seniors

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The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo has announced the beginning of the construction of a US$17 million affordable housing development that will offer 46 affordable homes for seniors in Buffalo. Dubbed the La Plaza de Virginia, the housing development will also provide a community senior service center and café. The developer, Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo, is a nonprofit organization that provides integrated social services to underserved communities in the Buffalo area. La Plaza de Virginia is part of Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented US$20 billion, five-year affordable Housing Plan. The building will 46 one-bedroom apartments for senior households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income.

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Fourteen apartments will be set aside for formerly homeless seniors who will receive supportive services to assist them in transitioning into congregate housing and achieving housing stability. The supportive services are funded through the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the New York State Department of Health. The building will feature a 4,000 square foot communal courtyard, lounge, and laundry rooms on each floor, and a 5,500 square foot community Senior Service Center. In addition, the project will allocate community facility space to provide primary health care services to tenants and local community residents, including offices for medical professionals and exam rooms with Telehealth capabilities. A small café on the first floor of the project will take up the balance of the commercial space to provide access to healthy food for residents and the public at large.

La Plaza de Virginia will be funded by both the federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate US$10.6 million in equity and US$3.1 million in subsidy from HCR. Empire State Development is providing US$1.9 million through the Better Buffalo Fund, part of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority also provided funding. The City of Buffalo’s Urban Renewal Agency is providing US$950,000.