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August 2023

The Homes and Community Renewal Connection

Top News

Governor Hochul Takes Executive Action

to Increase Housing Supply


In July, Governor Hochul announced several Executive Actions to promote housing growth as part of her ongoing commitment to addressing New York's severe housing shortage.

And this week, the Governor launched a hallmark of the actions, the Pro-Housing Communities Program, which prioritizes $650 million in state discretionary funding to localities committed to housing growth. Localities that earn Pro-Housing Certification will receive priority consideration for key economic development and housing programs.

Application and program page are available on HCR's website.

Additional actions include: 

  • Advancing residential projects halted by the expiration of 421-A that include affordable housing in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn; 
  • Mandating all State entities review lands in their ownership and control to determine whether the sites could be used for housing development or to support nearby housing developments;
  • Requiring State entities identify the potential for their state-owned lands to support housing; 
  • Regulatory initiatives to identify opportunities for greater efficiencies to promote housing growth; and 
  • Launching the beta version of a new, interactive portal to collect and share community-level housing and zoning data.
Read More

Governor Hochul Celebrates Housing In Western New York and Mohawk Valley 

Folwell Apartments Brings Former

Hospital to Life

Governor Hochul celebrated the completion of a $15 million project to convert the former Women and Children’s Hospital located in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village neighborhood into 44 affordable and supportive homes for New Yorkers aged 62 and older.

Governor Cuts Ribbon at New

Amsterdam Apartments

Governor Hochul and Commissioner Visnauskas celebrated the completion of renovations at New Amsterdam Apartments, a 116-unit public senior housing development in the city of Amsterdam. The two-phase project preserved nearly 200 units of public senior housing.

$406 Million in Financing for 800 Homes

In Amsterdam, the Governor also announced HCR’s June 2023 bond issuance that is putting $406 million in bonds and subsidies to work creating 800 homes in five developments.

$26 Million in Grants Help 24 Land Banks Revitalize New York Communities

Phase II of the Land Bank Initiative will address blight, increase housing supply, support local economic development efforts, promote homeownership opportunities, and improve quality of life in disinvested communities.

Read More

Building a Greener, More Resilient New York

Flood Relief for Homeowners


Following historic flooding this summer, the Governor announced $3 million in emergency relief for eligible homeowners in Orange County.

The Governor announced an additional $3 million to assist homeowners who suffered damage to their primary residence in Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton Counties in the North Country; Ontario County in the Finger Lakes; and Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties in the Hudson Valley. 

Johnson Park Green Community Apartments in Utica


Commissioner Visnauskas helped kick off construction at Johnson Park Green Community Apartments in Utica. The $28 million development will create 62 affordable and energy-efficient homes, including 31 with supportive services, and a new 12,000-square-foot community center for the Cornhill-Johnson Park neighborhood. The development is designed to meet Passive House standards and NYSERDA's Buildings of Excellence program criteria.

Increasing Housing Supply

Commissioner Cuts Ribbon on Edna Craven Estates in Rochester

Commissioner Visnauskas cut the ribbon on a $49 million mixed-use affordable housing development that created 164 sustainable homes in Northeast Rochester. Edna Craven Estates also features ground floor commercial space and a new community center.

"Congratulations to our partners in state government, the city of Rochester, and CDS Monarch on the completion of Edna Craven Estates." -Commissioner Visnauskas

Commissioner Celebrates Park Place in Crown Heights

Construction has begun on Park Place, a $34 million affordable and supportive housing development in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn that will feature 43 mixed-income apartments, including eight supportive homes for families experiencing homelessness, and a primary care facility open to the community.

Park Place is part of the state's Vital Brooklyn Initiative designed to address chronic social, economic, and health disparities in Brooklyn's high-need communities. 

Lewisboro Commons in Westchester Now Complete

HCR joined local officials and development partners to cut the ribbon on a $22 million affordable housing development in the Westchester County town of Lewisboro.

“Lewisboro Commons provides contemporary homes to 42 households while making the surrounding community a more diverse and vibrant place to live. Congratulations to the Housing Action Council, Wilder Balter Partners, and the entire community for embracing housing choice and bringing this development over the finish line.” -Commissioner Visnauskas

Windsor Terrace Opens in Schenectady


Commissioner Visnauskas celebrated the completion of Windsor Terrace Apartments, a $1.4 million project that is using $586,000 in NYS HOME Program funds to create four affordable homes and help revitalize Schenectady's Eastern Avenue corridor.

“Thank you to our partners at Better Community Neighborhoods for their work making this development a reality, and for their continued commitment to building a better Electric City for all.” -Commissioner Visnauskas

Construction Complete at True Bethel Commons in Niagara Falls

True Bethel Commons, a $15 million adaptive reuse of the vacant former historic Sacred Heart school, rectory and convent buildings on South Avenue, is now complete. The development includes 39 affordable apartments.

"It is so rewarding to see historic neighborhood landmarks such as Sacred Heart gain renewed purpose as affordable housing. This transformation serves as an example of how public and private partnerships can work together to benefit New York's communities and create new places for people to live and raise a family."  -Governor Hochul 

Revitalizing Communities

Largest Affordable Housing Project at World Trade Center


After months of stalled negotiations, Governor Hochul and local elected leaders reached an agreement to introduce 1,200 housing units at the 5 WTC site.

Approximately one-third of the development's units, around 400, will be made permanently affordable. Upon completion, this development will become one of the largest affordable housing projects in Lower Manhattan and the sole residential site at the World Trade Center.

$200 Million for Downtown Revitalization Initiative

Governor Hochul announced $200 million in funding is available through the State's two signature downtown revitalization and economic development programs — $100 million each for Round 7 of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and Round 2 of the NY Forward program.

"The Downtown Revitalization Initiative and NY Forward program have directed nearly a billion dollars to the revitalization of 93 communities across the state, and today's announcement ensures that even more communities will soon experience the holistic benefits these innovative programs create." 

-Commissioner Visnauskas

Congratulations Oswego!

In July, Oswego became the first community to complete all of its projects under the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which included increasing affordable housing developments downtown. Way to go, Oswego!

Upcoming Highlights

Commissioner Visnauskas and HCR staff will participate in the New York State Association for Affordable Housing’s Annual Upstate Conference on September 14th.

Visit NYSAFAH's website for more details.


Commissioner Visnauskas will deliver the keynote address on Monday, September 18th at the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition’s annual conference in Saratoga Springs. Visit NPC's website for more details.

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