Governor’s SPARC Program Bringing New Resilient Housing to Schoharie County
40-Apartment Development Delivers Affordable Housing to Help Storm Ravaged Region Rebound
May 3, 2019 – New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced the completion of Candlewood Court, a $10 million, 40-apartment complex in Richmondville. The development is a key element of Richmondville’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Irene’s flooding and the destruction it caused to the area’s housing stock. Candlewood Court is part of Governor Cuomo’s Small Project Affordable Rental Construction Program, created in 2015 to finance resilient rental housing in storm-damaged areas.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Governor Cuomo created the SPARC program to ensure that upstate communities that lost housing stock to flooding are able to rebuild and recover in a smart, sustainable and resilient way. Candlewood Court, built in a newly rezoned gateway area and outside of the floodplain, is helping Richmondville take a massive step forward to recovery and resurgence.”
The SPARC program complements the Governor’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan to make housing accessible and combat homelessness. By building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services, the plan offers a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing and community development. Since 2011, HCR has invested more than $122.8 million in the Mohawk Valley region to create or preserve 1,585 affordable homes for nearly 3,600 residents.
Candlewood Court is in an area east of Richmondville’s center outside of the floodplain that was rezoned to serve as a gateway to Main Street, combining housing, retail, and the Radez Elementary School. The SUNY Cobleskill campus is 4.5 miles away.
The complex’s two buildings each contain 12 one-bedroom, five two-bedroom and three three-bedroom homes. All the apartments are priced to be affordable to households earning up to 80 percent and less of the Area Median Income. Rents range from $835 for a one-bedroom; $1,005 for a two-bedroom and $1,400 for a three-bedroom. All the units include energy efficient appliances and fixtures, and the building and mechanical systems are built to Enterprise Green Standards. The project developer is Housing Visions.
Financing for the $10 million Candlewood Court development includes a total of $7.5 million from HCR through the State’s Small Project Affordable Rental Construction program. The Community Preservation Corporation is providing two $1 million permanent loans – one per building – financed through their partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund.
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, said, “We are pleased to partner with the Community Preservation Corporation to help complete Candlewood Court. This is development project is a win for everyone. It is a sound investment opportunity for our retirement fund that helps bring affordable housing to the Richmondville community and contributes to the neighborhood's revitalization.”
Senator James L. Seward said, “For a community to grow, quality, affordable housing is a necessity. Richmondville and Schoharie County have been in rebuild mode since the devastation of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. We have made great strides and projects like Candlewood Court will further enhance the region’s rebirth.”
Assemblymember Chris Tague said, “I’m very pleased to see such a high-quality complex being opened in Richmondville. These affordable complexes are in such high demand, and Candlewood Court is exactly the kind of apartment complex that our area needs. It’s a testament to the spirit of our local residents who continue to rebuild and improve our homes after being so sorely tested by the flooding. I’m inspired to see this being opened and it’s a sign that no matter what we face, we will rise above it and build something better!”
Richmondville Mayor Kevin Neary said, “The Candlewood Housing Project has been a great project for our community; it's going to help our grow and bring new business opportunities to our community. The Candlewood Housing Project is an excellent example of how we in government can develop a public and private partnership to address a serious community housing issue.”
Schoharie Board of Supervisors Chair Earl Van Wormer said, “This is very exciting news for Schoharie County – particularly for seniors who will be able to afford to live here. I know a number of seniors on fixed income, who, along with other residents, want to stay in Schoharie County and will now have a better chance to do so thanks to this new housing. We lost a lot of homes when Hurricane Irene hit us. This new complex is helping us to continue our recovery.”
Ben Lockwood, President & CEO of Housing Visions, said, “Candlewood Court is the continuation of the state’s effort to fund the rebuilding of quality, affordable housing in Schoharie County impacted by three major storms. This project ensures that residents of varying income levels can stay in their community. Housing Visions is honored to assist in these efforts and looks forward to being a partner in the Village of Richmondville and the greater community.”
Glenn Lunde, Vice President & Mortgage Officer at CPC, said, “Small rental properties are the backbone of communities large and small and play a key role in providing affordable housing for hardworking people across our state. We’re proud to administer the SPARC program for the State, to help towns and cities across New York rebuild their housing stock. My thanks to Governor Cuomo and his housing and recovery agencies, Housing Visions, and our partners at the State’s Common Retirement Fund for their commitment to investing in housing.”
Created in 2015, SPARC provides financing on small rental projects with between eight and 20 apartments. Each of the Candlewood Court buildings was funded separately. SPARC is funded from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery’s $4.4 billion federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery allotment and can only be used in areas that were impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and/or Tropical Storm Lee. The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) administers the program under HCR’s guidelines.
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About the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC)
Established in 1974, CPC is a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company that believes housing is central to transforming underserved neighborhoods into thriving and vibrant communities. The company provides a full suite of capital products through its construction lending and permanent lending, Agency lending, and equity investing platforms. Since inception, CPC has provided more than $10.5 billion to finance more than 193,000 units of multifamily housing. CPC’s work with its partners has helped revitalize countless neighborhoods and provided quality housing for families, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities. Visit CPC at communityp.com, and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Housing Visions
Housing Visions Consultants, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, and is a subsidiary of Housing Visions Unlimited, Inc., a Community Housing Development Organization and a Neighborhood Preservation Company with extensive affordable housing experience constructing and/or rehabilitating approximately 1,500 affordable residential units in 363 multifamily buildings. Specializing in creating complex deal structures and accessing a variety of financing sources, HVU and HVC have successfully developed a number of new construction projects and rehabilitated a number of buildings, including some that are eligible to be listed on the National Register and have received NYS preservation awards.