April 18, 2014
The New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) has committed $200 million in new funding to the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC). The funding will go to finance approximately 3,500 units of housing during the next three years. It will also help reinvigorate downtown districts and provide much-needed affordable housing across New York State.
For instance, funding through CRF will allow CPC to close on a $460,000 First Mortgage Permanent CRF loan with SONYMA insurance. As a result of the loan, developer Wulf Lueckerath will be able to rehabilitate a dilapidated building in Poughkeepsie into eight affordable apartments and two commercial spaces.
As well, the CRF financing will allow CPC to provide a $2.7 million construction and CRF permanent loan with SONYMA insurance to Syracuse-based developer Doug Sutherland to help rehabilitate an historic but unoccupied Rochester structure. The rehabilitation will result in a four-story, mixed-use building offering 15 market-rate, loft-style apartments and 5,000 square feet of official space.
“The $200 million in new funding from the New York State Common Retirement Fund will be utilized to invest in communities across New York State,” CPC senior vice president and director of field offices Sadie McKeown tells MHN.
“This means that CPC will be able to close more loans for the preservation and construction of affordable housing developments in New York State cities such as, but not limited to, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and Yonkers.”
The emphasis on historic buildings and downtowns was an important part of the overall strategy. “Many historic downtowns, which were once business and commercial hubs, are in need of economic development,” McKeown observes. “We believe that stable housing is the first step towards revitalizing these robust communities, and CPC has been investing in downtowns for years, restoring New York’s aging buildings to create safe, stable housing and brings density back into the neighborhood.”
In Poughkeepsie, Lueckerath reports he formerly struggled to gain financing from traditional banks. Those banks were hesitant to offer the smaller amounts needed to finance his projects. “However, CPC has always recognized the importance and need for affordable housing,” he observes. “Their expertise, combined with the Common Retirement Fund’s long-term permanent financing, has been critical to helping invest in the community and convert once dilapidated buildings into safe and stable housing.”
What does McKeown believe the commitment of new funding will mean to individuals and communities throughout the Empire State?
“The New York State Common Retirement Fund has been one of CPC’s most important partners in community revitalization for nearly 23 years,” she says. “And this new capacity will enable CPC to continue its core work, creating much-needed affordable housing and spurring economic growth in communities.”