New York State Homes and Community Renewal Announces Re-Opening of Woodrow Wilson Townhomes in Amsterdam

State-of-the-Art Renovations to 100-Unit Mitchell-Lama Development Part of Governor Cuomo’s House New York Initiative

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) today announced the completion of the Woodrow Wilson Townhomes rehabilitation project in the City of Amsterdam. The state-of-the art modern upgrades and repairs to the100-unit Mitchell-Lama development will keep the apartments affordable for another 40 years. Woodrow Wilson Townhomes is one of the first Mitchell Lama renovation projects completed as part of the Governor’s $1 billion House New York plan to create and preserve more than 14,300 affordable homes across the State.

James S. Rubin, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “Woodrow Wilson Townhomes is one of the first Mitchell-Lama developments to complete renovation through Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion House New York plan, which is on track to create and preserve more than 14,300 affordable homes across the state. The dramatic, energy efficient redesign has transformed and renewed Woodrow Wilson, keeping it affordable for another four decades and making it into an attractive, comfortable, lasting place for families and individuals to call home. On behalf of the HCR team, we are proud to carry out the governor’s commitment to affordable housing and to work with our partners in Amsterdam and throughout the Mohawk Valley.”

The renovation of Woodrow Wilson Townhomes is a partnership with HCR, Omni Development, The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), and First Niagara Bank. A diverse mix of resources was used to refinance Woodrow Wilson Townhomes. In addition to $5.3 million in state Mitchell-Lama funding through the Housing Finance Agency within HCR, the agency’s Housing Trust Fund Corporation approved another $2 million. These state investments leveraged almost $12 million in a combination of private financing and equity from Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which are also administered by HCR. CPC provided a $3.1 million first mortgage permanent loan through the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) program that is insured by the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA).

As part of House New York, the state’s largest investment in affordable housing in at least 15 years, Empire State Development’s 35 Mitchell-Lama developments with 8,600 existing units were transferred in 2013 to HCR. In all, House New York is slated to create and preserve more than 14,300 affordable housing units over five years in both urban and rural areas across the State.

The 16-building development includes 24 one-bedroom units, 36 two-bedroom units, 30 three-bedroom units, and 10 four-bedroom units, as well as a community room, laundry, and Wi-Fi.

The $23.5 million renovation of the 41-year-old Woodrow Wilson Townhomes stands as a model of excellence in the greening of existing Mitchell-Lama housing. The redevelopment is designed to reduce energy use by at least 20 percent. Five of the existing apartments are redesigned for handicap accessibility. Kitchens and bathrooms have been replaced to provide tenants with efficient modern amenities. Existing heating distribution systems have been replaced with new energy efficient gas fired heating and central cooling systems, and windows were replaced. The style of the buildings has been enhanced and redesigned with modern finishes, colors and textures. In addition:

All 16 buildings were gutted for optimal insulation of exterior walls.

All sidewalks were replaced.

Every entry was reconfigured to provide more attractive, better lit porches with removal of previous front storage sheds that were unsightly and safety hazards.

The community room and card operated laundry were made handicapped accessible.

A Wi-Fi Hub now connects all residents to the Internet wirelessly, plus Internet cable wiring was installed in all units and the community room.

Financing includes:

$887,644 annual Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocation from HCR which will generate $8.293 million in equity to be provided by Raymond James representing First Niagara Bank.

$2 million loan from the NYS Housing Trust Fund Corporation.

HOUSE New York loan of $5.3 million.

A permanent loan commitment of $3.1 million from the Community Preservation Corporation.

A construction loan from First Niagara Bank of $7.6 million.

The development team consists of Omni Housing Development LLC, developer; Bette & Cring Construction Group, construction manager and, RIDA Architecture, PLLC, architect. Upon completion, the project is owned by Woodrow Townhomes, LLC.

The gross rents (rent plus utilities) will range from $638 to $1,125 a month, and will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 80% of area median income.

“Woodrow Wilson Townhomes is a great example of the how the state pension fund is making a difference in New York’s communities,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “As fiduciary of the state pension fund, securing sound investments for the more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries is my first priority. Our partnership with the Community Preservation Coalition, delivers a win for the state pension fund and for New York families.”

“Everyone in the community benefits when quality affordable housing options are available to residents. The newly renovated Woodrow Wilson Townhomes offer energy efficiency, lower costs, and enhanced safety and security, which will benefit not only the residents, but the entire City of Amsterdam,” said Senator George Amedore.

“The renovation of the Woodrow Wilson Townhomes marks an important step in achieving our goal of more affordable housing for residents in the City of Amsterdam.  Affordable housing is vital for communities, and helps ensure more families have a safe place to call home,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.

“This is such a positive transformation. These safe, attractive, modern and energy-efficient homes not only revitalize the Woodrow Wilson complex, but the larger community as well. And most importantly, it is housing that remains affordable,” said Amsterdam Mayor Ann M. Thane. “We are very grateful to the State, HCR and our private sector colleagues for making this substantial investment in Amsterdam.”

Duncan Barrett, Chief Operating Officer Omni Housing Development LLC, said,“Omni Housing Development is proud to have partnered with NYS Homes and Community Renewal through Governor Cuomo’s House New York program to recreate this failed Mitchell-Lama housing as an energy efficient, self-sustaining modern housing facility serving families in Amsterdam for decades to come.”

The State’s Mitchell-Lama housing stock has long served as an irreplaceable resource of quality, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers,” said Rafael E. Cestero, President and CEO of CPC. “Preserving existing affordable housing, like the Woodrow Wilson Homes, is critical to ensuring that it stays both physically and financially strong and remains affordable to the hardworking families who call it home. I thank Governor Cuomo for the Administration’s commitment preserving housing and keeping people in their homes, and Comptroller DiNapoli and the New York State Common Retirement Fund for providing us with a key source of financing that has helped further our shared mission of creating and preserving a diversity of housing across the state.”

Today’s announcement marks a major House NY milestone. As Woodrow Wilson opens, refinancing has closed on 16 Mitchell-Lamas with a total of 4,169 units, investing and leveraging $922 million. In addition to Woodrow Wilson Townhomes, the Mitchell-Lama developments that have been refinanced in the first three years of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion House New York plan are:

Name of Project City County
Cornerstone – Unity Park I Townhomes Niagara Falls

Niagara

Oak Creek Town Homes Auburn

Cayuga

Twin Parks NW (Bronx Park Phase III) NYC

Bronx

Twin Parks SE (Bronx Park Phase I) NYC

Bronx

Twin Parks SW (Bronx Park Phase II) NYC

Bronx

Woodrow Wilson Townhomes Amsterdam

Montgomery

Warburton (Dorado) Yonkers

Westchester

Spa Apartments Clifton Springs

Ontario

Marcus Garvey Apartments NYC

Kings

Harlem Canaan House NYC

New York

Rockland Manor Houses (Hemlock Ridge) Rockland

Sullivan

Shoreline II Phase I Buffalo

Erie

Smith Woodward (Fulton Park Site 2) NYC

Kings

Coney Island Site 4A-1 (Sea Rise I, Bay Park I) NYC

Kings

Coney Island Site 4A-2 (Sea Rise II, Bay Park II) NYC

Kings

Cedars of Chili Chili

Monroe


Contact: Eric Bederman, VP/Communications
212-869-5300, ext. 482 ebederman@communityp.com