December 8, 2015
By Rose Spillman
Plattsburgh unveiled a brand new apartment complex Monday that hopes to offer housing at an affordable rate.
Amanda Beane has lived in a wheelchair for 15 years, but she says she was never able to live in a fully handicapped accessible apartment until she moved to Plattsburgh. "To other people it may not seem like a big deal having, you know, being able to roll in under the counters, but it really, it just makes my day to be able to do everything on my own," Beane said.
At the end of October, Beane moved into a brand new apartment complex called the Homesteads on Ampersand which offers more than 60 units with subsidized rent. Hers is one of many specialized apartments for both handicapped, hearing and vision impaired, or special needs tenants. "I have all, underneath my sinks are all opened up so I can roll up underneath them and be independent and do my own dishes," Beane said.
The homes here are part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $1 billion House New York program which is hoping to preserve and create over 14,000 affordable housing options across the state.
"The administration has ramped up the amount of funds that have been made available for developments like this throughout the state. A lot of upstate, a lot of North Country, western New York, southern tier, where investments need to be made and are being made," said Larry Regan, President of the Regan Development Corporation.
On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul attended the official ribbon cutting for the complex. Officials say the $14 million project was created through a partnership with New York State Homes and Community Renewal, New York State Office of Mental Health, Regan Development, and The Community Preservation Corporation. So far, a majority of the apartments have been rented out, but developers say at least 20-percent of the complex is still open for new residents.
"When we attract people to this area, or keep the young people who are educated here, they also have to know they have the opportunity to have an affordable home to start their families and to grow," said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, D-New York.
The complex sits along Route 3 near many businesses. Local officials say one important addition was a sidewalk that will connect tenants with these services. "Your community out there heading toward the University, down to the river run, and maybe even more important, bring them through here. Let's see the community come through this new community," said Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett.
For Beane, the apartment is more than just an affordable option. "When we finally got that phone call that we were accepted, and it was just priceless, really priceless. Especially right before the holidays as well," she said.