Watertown Daily Times
May 20, 2015
Several redevelopment projects are breathing new life into the north country.
Their emphasis on offering new residential units will benefit the region. An increase in housing will expand options for people moving here, which should help lower rents and pressure apartment owners to enhance the appearance of their properties.
Local developers such as Steven F. Aiello, Brian H. Murray and Mark S. Purcell have been the public faces of these exciting enterprises — and deservedly so. Their firms have committed enormous time, money and talent into transforming downtown Watertown.
Less known to members of the public, however, is one of the groups that help make these kinds of projects throughout New York state possible. It is dedicated to helping developers offer affordable housing to the many people who need it.
Founded in New York City more than 40 years ago, the Community Preservation Corp. provides capital to firms undertaking residential housing projects. The CPC is involved with Mr. Aiello with the Beaver Meadows complex behind Target in the town of Watertown. When completed, the development will offer 296 apartment units — 60 of which will be reserved for people earning less than 80 percent of the area median income.
The CPC pools revenue from a variety of financial institutions to create a reserve of capital. This money is then loaned at reasonable rates to developers committed to providing affordable housing. It also makes use of public resources to ensure that projects are completed.
“The Community Preservation Corp. is a nonprofit, affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization lender founded in 1974 to address the renovation needs of aging and deteriorating multifamily housing stock in New York’s distressed neighborhoods,” according to information provided by the organization. “CPC provides low-cost, fixed-rate capital to owners of multifamily housing. We use our flexible financing to preserve existing and construct new affordable housing and stabilize neighborhoods in New York state. Our borrowers rely on CPC’s knowledge of local markets and depend on us to be available for every deal, even the smallest properties.”
The CPC has made capital available for the preservation or creation of 145,926 units of affordable housing throughout the state since it founding. Its private financing has totaled about $6.2 billion.
Those of us in Northern New York, just like many other parts of the state, have much work ahead of us to see economic prosperity return. Growing jobs and expanding business opportunities are needed to see that people can afford to live more comfortably and securely.
So having affordable housing options is crucial. It is a true benefit for visionary developers to use of the resources the CPC to enhance neighborhoods and help residents keep a roof over their heads.