Roosevelt residences ground-breaking ceremony held

$15.8 million project will create 50 new affordable housing units and a new Community Center in Utica’s Cornhill Neighborhood

The Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Utica; Norstar Development USA, L.P.; and Norstar Building Corporation celebrated the commencement of construction for the Roosevelt Residences project Oct. 31 with a ground-breaking ceremony at 1515 Brinckerhoff Avenue, Utica.

More than 70 local, state, and federal officials, as well as neighborhood residents, community agency representatives and development team members attended the ceremony.

The Roosevelt Residences project involves the construction of 50 affordable housing units contained in 25 new buildings on 11 scattered sites in the Cornhill Neighborhood of Utica. A total of eight units will be set aside for homeless veterans and for other chronically homeless populations. The project also includes the construction of a new Resident Center.

This exciting $15.8 million investment will be transformative for the Cornhill Neighborhood and will enhance the quality of life of people seeking safe and affordable housing within Utica.

The site/unit mix is as follows:

  • Fifty (50) total units;
  • Eleven (11) scattered sites;
  • Twenty-five (25) buildings, including one resident center;
  • Twenty-five (25) units are assisted by a Section 8 Project Based Voucher;
  • 10 Units are HOME units.;
  • Eight (8) total units are permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans (5 units) and the chronically homeless (3 units), assisted by grant through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative;
  • Units are duplexes or stacked flats;
  • One-bedroom: 6 units;
  • Two-bedroom: 24 units
  • Three-bedroom: 18;
  • Four-bedroom: 2 units.

For more information on the project and how to lease units, contact John Furman at the Utica Municipal Housing Authority (315) 982-3731.

The following are statements by elected officials and the project development team regarding the Roosevelt Residences groundbreaking:

  • David Williams, Chairman of the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Utica, New York Board of Commissioners, observed: “I think it very fitting that this site which was once a school, will now be a healthy and safe environment for some of Utica’s families. Roosevelt Residences will be a place for them to live and grow and have a positive impact on the neighborhood and city.”
  • Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri stated: “Roosevelt Residencies is an outstanding project that came as a result of strong community partnerships.  I thank Governor Cuomo, the Municipal Housing Authority and its Executive Director, Bob Calli, and Norstar for working hard and collaboratively on this important issue.  This project eliminated an eye sore that was neglected for over a decade.  Roosevelt Residencies is a major part of fulfilling our commitment to improve the quality of life for the Cornhill neighborhood.”
  • New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Roosevelt Residences will turn blighted buildings and vacant lots into 50 quality affordable homes for veterans, families, and people in need of support services. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, HCR and our agency partners are making great strides creating developments like Roosevelt Residences that provide good homes and revitalize neighborhoods.”
  • New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, “Governor Cuomo has made a strong commitment to addressing homelessness throughout the state, in particular those who served our country.  This supportive housing project will provide individuals with the housing and support services they need to stabilize their lives.”
  • NYS Senator Joseph Griffo commented:  “This investment by the Utica Municipal Housing Authority and Norstar Development USA will provide those seeking housing with a safe, affordable and quality option. It also has the potential to have a positive impact on the neighborhood and the city by helping families and others find a place that they can call home. I am looking forward to watching as this project progresses.”
  • NYS Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said: “The Roosevelt Residences Project will significantly increase the availability of quality affordable housing in Utica’s center city.  Building 50 new housing units will be transformative for the area.  And constructing a new resident center will help create a sense of community. This is certainly a wise investment by the state and other partners that will strengthen the Cornhill neighborhood and the region as a whole for many years to come.”
  • Richard Higgins, President of Norstar Development USA, L.P. commented: “Norstar is very proud of our partnership with the Utica Municipal Housing Authority.  Having worked with them to design and develop this exciting Roosevelt Residences project, we are now very much looking forward to delivering high-quality, affordable housing to the Cornhill neighborhood of the City of Utica.”
  • Senator Charles Schumer stated:  “I have long fought to preserve funding for the HOME program, which financed the Roosevelt Residences. This is a prime example of how valuable the HOME program is to our community: the Utica Municipal Housing Authority used it to build 50 new affordable housing units for low-income residents and set aside 8 units for our veterans. It is vital that the federal government make sure communities have the resources they need to provide for our vets, as well as the many seniors, families and children who need safe and affordable homes. I commend the leaders of the Utica Municipal Housing Authority for their vision and foresight and I will continue to protect this critical investment in our communities.”
  • Congresswoman Claudia Tenney said:   “It’s an honor to participate in today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Roosevelt Residences. The Roosevelt Residences will improve the quality of life for many throughout our community, including the homeless and our veterans.  The new housing units will provide affordable and stable homes for the people of Utica and will contribute positively to growth and development in the area.
  • Stephen Lee, Vice President of RBC Capital Markets, said:  “RBC Capital Markets is thrilled to partner with the Utica Municipal Housing Authority and Norstar Development by providing the tax credit equity investment in the Roosevelt Residence project. We believe the project will greatly benefit the community by providing a quality affordable housing option within the City of Utica.”
  • KeyBank N.A. National Manager Rob Likes commented: “Key is deeply committed to making safe affordable housing available in the communities where we live and work,” said Rob Likes, national manager of Key’s Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI) team. “We are very proud of our collaboration with local organizations like the City of Utica Municipal Housing Authority and Norstar Development USA, LP and feel confident our combined efforts will help address the affordable housing crisis – one project at a time.”

This project is financed by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal/Housing Finance Agency, NYS HFA Homes for Working Families, NYS HFA New Construction Program, NYS HFA SHOP Program, State of New York Mortgage Agency loan (bonds), NYS Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, RBC Capital Markets (federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits), KeyBank N.A. (construction loan), the City of Utica HOME funds, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

About the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Utica:

The Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Utica, New York was established in 1937 as one of the first public housing authorities in New York State.  The MHA owns, manages, and supervises a total of 1,020 units.  We are the largest landlord in the Utica area.  The MHA is a municipal public corporation funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), rental income, and private, state, and federal grants.  The mission of the MHA is to be a leader in the housing industry by providing safe, clean and affordable housing opportunities to low income persons while promoting self-sufficiency, upward mobility, and customer satisfaction.  The MHA has successfully administered AmeriCorps, HOPE VI home rehabilitation, public housing modernization, HUD ARRA grants, energy improvement, housing development, youth, human and community service, job training, and educational programs.

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