Governor Cuomo Announces Opening of Frances II Apartments in Monroe County

$12.8 Million, 48-Apartment Affordable Housing Development Offers Supportive Services in Town of Sweden

Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” — The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the second phase of the Frances Apartments complex in the town of Sweden in Monroe County. The new $12.8 million development offers 48 affordable homes with eight apartments set aside for residents who need supportive services in order to live independently.

“Every New Yorker deserves a safe, decent and affordable place to call home,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new supportive housing development builds upon our continued efforts and investments in communities across the state, providing 48 brand-new apartments for those in need of secure and supportive services.”

Frances Apartments II is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing through the State’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.

“Everyone deserves the decency of a roof over their heads and access to the support services needed to help enhance quality of life,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Completion of Phase II of the Frances Apartments is a testament of fairness and inclusiveness, serving as a reflection of our values, which includes creating and preserving affordable housing options across the state. New York is committed to continuing to invest in our communities to help grow and strengthen the economy – building back better and creating opportunities for the future.”

Frances Apartments II consists of six two-story buildings with 24 one-bedroom apartments and 24 three-bedroom apartments. Ten of the apartments are affordable to households earning up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and 38 units are targeted to households earning up to 60 percent AMI. Eight of the apartments are set aside for people in need of supportive services.

The first phase of the complex, the 56-unit Frances Apartments, opened in October 2017 and was financed by HCR and the State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. The now complete complex has 104 apartments, 22 of which are supportive housing units with services provided by Life Assistance, Inc., Greater Rochester’s largest agency serving children and adults with developmental disabilities.

The complex is named for prominent Brockport native Frances “Fannie” Barrier Williams (1855-1944), scholar, artist, suffragist, and advocate for social justice who was the first African American to graduate from SUNY Brockport.

Lifetime Assistance, Inc. and Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd. are co-developers of Frances Apartments II.

HCR funding for the $12.8 million Frances Apartments II includes $9.5 million in Low Income Tax Credit equity and $2.2 million in subsidy. NYSERDA also provided funding through their Low-rise Residential New Construction Program. The Community Preservation Corporation provided $660,000 in permanent financing for the project through its partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund and Monroe County contributed $200,000 in HOME funding.

Since 2011, HCR has invested more than $627 million to create or preserve nearly 7,500 affordable homes and apartments in the Finger Lakes Region, including over $443 million in Monroe County to support more than 5,200 homes for over 13,000 people and leveraging $566 million in funding from other sources.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Governor Cuomo has made it a priority of his administration to build supportive housing across the state that allows New Yorkers of all abilities to live with dignity and independence in their own homes. With the completion of phase II, the Frances Apartments complex has now delivered 104 affordable homes for families and adults with special needs in Monroe County. During this public health emergency, it is more important than ever that we continue to create new housing opportunities and give people the resources they need to remain safely and securely housed. Congratulations to our many partners for completing this beautiful new supportive development.”

NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Leveraging underutilized sites such as these to construct energy efficient and affordable housing for some of our most vulnerable residents is a win-win for communities across the state and a priority under Governor Cuomo’s clean energy and climate leadership. Identifying and delivering solutions that increase opportunities for all New Yorkers to benefit from state investments that lower harmful emissions is a critical component of our fight against climate change and I congratulate the Frances Apartments on this milestone.”

OPWDD Commissioner Theodore A. Kastner, said, “OPWDD constantly strives to provide people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live independently within their community with the right supports to help them be successful. As part of Governor Cuomo’s five-year housing plan to provide accessible housing to those who need it most, eight of these apartments, and 4 from the first phase of construction, will provide people with developmental disabilities a safe, affordable and accessible home within their community while being provided with services tailored to meet their specific needs.”

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said, “The construction of the Frances II Apartments has been a complete and resounding success. Not only has each apartment at the complex been rented to an individual in need, but the project was completed on time and under budget. Lifetime Assistance, Inc. and Cornerstone, Ltd. continue to do amazing work for our developmental disability community members, and I am proud to have taken part in the advocacy efforts to move this project forward. Everyone deserves to have a community where they feel welcomed and the opportunity to have a place that they can call home. Let’s all hope to see more projects like this happen in the near future, and let the work done at the Frances II Apartments serve as a blueprint for others around the state.”

Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said, “I’m thrilled to see development on these critical assisted living facilities move at such a brisk pace, and I’m even more thrilled to see how these housing projects have been embraced by the community. This project will benefit not only the economy of the region, but the soul of it as well; communities working together and looking out for each other is as American as apple pie, and I am so proud of this community for making it happen.”

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Affordable and accessible housing for all is essential to the strength of our communities. Every resident of Monroe County deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. I thank Lifetime Housing Development Corp. and Rochester’s Cornerstone Group for providing this inclusive, supportive mixed income housing community that helps ensure that opportunity is available for people who are hearing/visually impaired, have physical disabilities or traumatic brain injuries. I’m happy Monroe County was part of making this happen and grateful for the support given to Frances Apartments by Gov. Cuomo, New York State Homes and Community Renewal and all community and government partners who worked so hard to make this project possible.”

Town of Sweden Supervisor Kevin Johnson said, “For the second time in five years, Rochester’s Cornerstone Group has brought a modern, affordable housing project to the Town of Sweden. The partnership with Lifetime Assistance means that there are more inclusive housing options available for our residents. Frances II is a well-designed, well-executed project that is a welcome addition to our community.”

Jamie Branciforte CEO of Lifetime Assistance Inc., said, “This project is remarkable for many reasons. Thanks to our forward-thinking Board of Directors and Lifetime Leadership Team, and an outstanding team of builders, architects, engineers, and service providers we completed this project on schedule and under budget, which is difficult enough during normal times but especially so during a pandemic when so much of our world shut down. This speaks volumes to the commitment of all our partners. We are extremely grateful for all their hard work that has helped bring this project to completion and meet the growing need for affordable inclusive housing. Together we have created a truly exceptional intergenerational community of families, singles, and seniors including those with disabilities.”

Roger W. Brandt, Jr., President of Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, said, “Cornerstone and Lifetime Assistance are pleased to provide this second phase of a very successful development, which already has a lengthy waiting list of future residents. The team worked together through the challenging time of the pandemic and labor availability to complete 48 additional units of high-quality affordable housing in the Town of Sweden on time and on budget.”

Miriam Zinter Mortgage Officer at The Community Preservation Corporation said, “At CPC we believe that quality affordable housing is the backbone of strong communities. The Frances Apartments II fills a vital need in the Town of Sweden for energy efficient, affordable housing that also provides several apartments that meet the unique needs of residents with disabilities. I thank our partners at Lifetime Assistance for their vision and dedication to the community, and to Comptroller DiNapoli and our funding partners at the State’s Common Retirement Fund for their commitment to investing in affordable housing.”

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $8 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.