Governor Cuomo Announces First Two Affordable Housing Projects In $30 Million Storm Recovery Program

Clarkstown Units Will Provide Affordable Housing to Low Income Seniors

Authorizes Additional $10 Million to Meet Demand for Program

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the first two affordable housing projects under the State’s $30 million Small Project Affordable Rental Construction program. With a total of 40 apartments, Clarkstown Seniors Phases I & II will offer much needed affordable housing to low-income seniors aged 55 and older. The Governor launched the program to provide housing and economic opportunity for low- to moderate-income New Yorkers in communities affected by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

“These developments will provide housing and resources to seniors in need, as well as help strengthen the community and make it more resilient,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is one more step toward ensuring all New Yorkers have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.”

Located in the Town of Clarkstown in Rockland County, Seniors Phases I & II are the first two projects to be funded by the Small Project Affordable Rental Construction program. Each of the new two three-story buildings will have with 20 apartments, the majority of which are intended for low-income seniors. Additionally, four units in each building will be set aside as supportive housing for clients sponsored by the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

The Small Project Affordable Rental Construction program finances small rental projects with eight to 20 units each in low-density areas that were affected by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and/or Tropical Storm Lee. These developments are meant to replace or supplement the affordable housing stock that was damaged by, or identified as vulnerable to, flooding from storm events. At least 51 percent of new rental units created at each property will be designated for residents earning below 80 percent of Area Median Income.

Developments were chosen through a competitive Request for Proposals process. The Small Project Affordable Rental Construction program was launched with $20 million in September 2015, funded by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery out of its $4.4 billion federal allotment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program. NYS Homes and Community Renewal oversees the program, and the nonprofit Community Preservation Corporation administers the funding.

The response to the RFP resulted in a pipeline of developments that committed the entire allocation of funding. Due to demand for the program, New York State Homes and Community Renewal approved an additional $10 million, raising the program’s total funding to $30 million. The additional funding has also been entirely allocated.

NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin said, “Since it was announced by Governor Cuomo, the SPARC program has proved its worth. These 40 apartments in Clarkstown will make a lasting difference for the town by replacing what two natural disasters uprooted. SPARC has generated the enthusiastic response we hoped for – all of the first $20 million was committed quickly and given the quality of the responses it was a natural decision for the HCR Housing Trust Fund Board to add an additional $10 million to supplement the program.”

Lisa Bova-Hiatt, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, said, “The construction start for Clarkstown Seniors Phases I & II will mark a turning point for this town and its ongoing recovery from the damage it sustained from Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene. This is the midpoint in a concerted effort to help qualified communities fund small projects, replacing or repairing lost or damaged homes. On behalf of the GOSR team, we thank our state, federal and local government partners as well as the development and nonprofit teams for their powerful commitment to this commonsense approach to recovery.”

Kerry A. Delaney, Acting Commissioner of the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, said, “OPWDD is pleased to partner with HCR, GOSR, NYSERDA and the Clarksville and Rockland communities etc. to develop this critically needed housing for people with developmental disabilities. Supportive housing enables the people we serve to live and work in their communities. With Governor Cuomo’s support and leadership, we continue to create new opportunities for the people we serve to do just that. “

Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “Natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy had no mercy on New Yorkers, and countless homes and businesses were destroyed,” said Senator Schumer. “With limited affordable senior housing options, these storms had a particularly negative impact on our most vulnerable residents. This $30 million investment will soon provide new affordable homes to Clarkstown’s at-need senior citizens, who have already put in a lifetime of hard work and deserve to live free from the fear of homelessness.”

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee said, “It is our responsibility to make certain that our seniors are never left out in the cold. I’m pleased these smart federal investments will support vulnerable New Yorkers still feeling the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy, and I will continue to work with officials at all levels of government to ensure seniors receive the support they deserve.”

Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski said, “A major challenge for suburban communities is housing affordability for seniors on a fixed income. These units will help alleviate our waiting lists and I thank Governor Cuomo and NYS Homes and Community Renewal for recognizing the challenge and making the investment.”

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “This affordable housing will provide seniors with comfortable, energy- efficient housing in a healthier environment.  These efforts complement Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build an energy system that is clean, resilient and affordable for all New Yorkers.”

Rafael E. Cestero, President & CEO of the Community Preservation Corporation, said, “Small multifamily buildings are the backbone of communities throughout our state, and when that housing stock is damaged or destroyed it can destabilize neighborhoods and the families that call them home. The SPARC program will play a critical role in replacing what was damaged as well as bringing new affordable housing options to communities affected by the storms. CPC is proud to partner with HCR to administer their program, and we thank Governor Cuomo for his continued leadership and support.”

Larry Regan, President of Regan Development Corp, and Keith Libolt, President of Affordable Housing Concepts, said, “Regan Development and Affordable Housing Concepts are proud to have partnered with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery as well as NYSHCR, OPWDD and CPC to provide new affordable rental units to Rockland County seniors, as well as persons with developmental disabilities in areas that were impacted by hurricanes Irene and Sandy.  The Governor’s creation of the New York Rising reconstruction planning system allowed the Town of Clarkstown to rebuild and create a more resilient community with smart growth and smart planning, leading to the implementation of new and replacement affordable housing units for their residents most in need.”

The projects will be funded with $3.75 million in SPARC Program CDBG-Disaster Recovery funds, and $723,000 in OPWDD capital funds. For each phase, CPC will provide a $6.36 million construction loan and SONYMA-insured $2 million permanent loan funded through the NYS Common Retirement Fund. OPWDD will also provide rent subsidies and capital funds, and supportive services for the supportive housing units. NYSERDA will provide $50,000 in rebates through its Low-Rise Residential New Construction Program.