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Economic Development Council announces progress on Housing Rehabilitation and Community Revitalization projects

By WKTV News

The Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council today announced that twelve housing rehabilitation and community development projects have signed contracts with the state and are moving forward with the first stages of $3,945,300 in awards from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. The projects will restore and rehabilitate homes for 262 families to improve the lives of hundreds of New Yorkers.

“We are very pleased to see these projects moving forward as the strategic investments by the MVREDC will improve the quality of life for hundreds of hard-working families by keeping them safe in their homes, which strengthens our communities and economy,” said Bjong Wolf Yeigh, MVREDC Co-chair and President of SUNY IT. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, projects such as these that are critical to the regional economy are going from funding to groundbreaking in a shorter development term. This funding will help the Mohawk Valley’s working families gain access to affordable housing and demonstrates that the Regional Council initiative is bringing critical state resources to the region.”

“HCR is proud to work alongside Mohawk Valley regional experts, to move forward on the projects which implement its vision for economic recovery,” said HCR Commissioner & CEO Darryl C. Towns. “With contacts signed, these projects are moving closer to reality and the entire region will benefit.”

Investments made through the Regional Councils will be administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the state’s housing agency. The Mohawk Valley housing rehabilitation investments include:

• A $750,000 investment to Herkimer County through the CDBG program, to renovate 26 low and moderate-income homes in Herkimer County

• A $750,000 investment to Oneida County through the CDBG program to renovate 26 homes of low and moderate-income people in Oneida County

• A $400,000 investment to the Town of Gilboa through the CDBG program to rehabilitate 16 substandard housing units

• A $400,000 investment to the City of Gloversville through the CDBG program to rehabilitate 11 single-family and six multi-family homes

• A $400,000 investment to the Otsego Rural Housing Assistance, Inc. through the HOME program to repair 24 homes for low-income homeowners

• A $330,000 investment to the City of Little Falls through the HOME program to provide housing rehab assistance in the Center City business district and nearby neighborhoods in the City of Little Falls

• A $278,000 investment to Otsego Rural Housing Assistance, Inc. through the AHC program to improve approximately 25 homes in Otsego County

• A $237,500 investment to Otsego Rural Housing Assistance, Inc. through the Access to Home program to make accessibility improvements to 24 homes of elderly people or people with disabilities in Otsego County

• A $184,800 investment to the City of Little Falls through the AHC program to improve 14 housing units in the Center City neighborhood of Little Falls

• A$75,000 investment to Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, Inc. through the RESTORE program to conduct emergency repairs for 23 elderly homeowners in Oneida County

• A $75,000 investment to Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, Inc. through the RESTORE program to conduct emergency repairs for elderly homeowners in Herkimer County

• A $65,000 investment to Otsego Rural Housing Assistance, Inc. through the RESTORE program to make emergency housing repairs for 22 elderly homeowners in Otsego County

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans.

Herkimer County Administrator James W. Wallace, Jr. said, “Herkimer County is extremely pleased to have been awarded this grant from the Mohawk Valley Regional Council and NYS Homes and Community Renewal. In a county with a high population of seniors, we have great needs to invest in our housing and these resources will go a long way to keep our most vulnerable citizens in their homes. I commend the Regional Council for supporting this project as it is very important to our seniors and Herkimer County as a whole.”

Schoharie County Clerk M. Indica Jaycox said, “I am honored that our County will be receiving $400,000 to invest in rehabilitating 16 substandard housing units in the Town of Gilboa. I feel that our elderly and low-income families in Schoharie County truly deserve the support from the Regional Council. These resources will provide a great opportunity for a family to be able to buy their first home when they thought they would never have that chance, or to improve the quality of life for the elderly by making it easier to get in and out of their home. I applaud the Regional Council, and the State of New York, for this investment into improving the lives of New Yorkers who need it most.”

The Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) within HCR supports homeownership opportunities for low and moderate- income families by providing grants to municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to assist in the costs of home improvements, the rehabilitation of existing housing and the new construction of homes for homebuyers.

The federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides financial assistance to eligible counties, cities, towns, and villages to help develop viable communities by providing decent affordable housing and expanding economic opportunities. The grants are awarded through the Housing Trust Fund Corporation.

The RESTORE (Residential Emergency Services to Offer Repairs to the Elderly) Program awards funds through municipalities and not-for profit organizations serving as local program administrators to pay for the cost of emergency repairs to eliminate hazardous conditions in homes owned by the elderly who are unable to afford to make repairs in a timely manner. To be eligible for assistance, homeowners must be 60 years of age or older, live in a 1-4 family house and have a household income which does not exceed 80 percent of area median income.

Access to Home provides financial assistance to homeowners and rental property owners through municipalities and not-for-profit organizations serving as local program administrators, to make dwelling units accessible for low- and moderate-income persons with disabilities. The assistance is typically structured as a forgivable zero percent interest loan.

The HOME Program is a federally-funded allocation to expand the supply of affordable housing stock. HOME funds a variety of affordable housing activities including new construction, rehabilitation/preservation, home improvement and home buyer assistance that are undertaken by municipalities and not-for-profit organizations that serve as local program administrators.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For information on how the New New York is working for business, please visit www.thenewny.com.

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