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December 2022 Edition

The Homes and Community Renewal Connection

2022 Marked New Era for Housing in New York

Dear Friends,

This past year was an exciting one for the housing community in New York State. Together, we moved forward with several initiatives that demonstrate our collective commitment to creating opportunities that are not just safe and affordable, but that meet our larger goals of removing barriers, strengthening communities, and improving the environment. Thanks to Governor’s Hochul's vision, the support of local and state leaders, and the talents of HCR’s dedicated staff, we are making a difference every day in the lives of New Yorkers.

As you will see in the video below, the highlights of 2022 spanned every region of the state and created momentum that will carry into 2023 and beyond.

We’re looking forward to what lies ahead and, as Governor Hochul announced this month, putting forth a bold new agenda to increase the state’s housing supply and make New York a more equitable, greener, and affordable home for all.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year,

Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas

HCR 2022 Review

Governor Hochul Launches New Housing Plan

The Governor’s sweeping $25 billion plan is on its way toward creating 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with supportive services, and has already created more than 9,000 homes. Importantly, this new plan included:

  • $1.5 billion for supportive housing;
  • $1 billion to construct multifamily affordable housing and another $450 million to preserve existing multifamily rental housing;
  • $400 million to advance homeownership opportunities across the state, especially in historically underserved markets; and
  • $250 million for a nation-leading electrification fund to improve energy efficiency of 10,000 homes as part of the state's plan to electrify one million homes and make another one million electrification-ready.

Governor Signs Critical Housing Bills into Law

In June, Governor Hochul signed into law two major pieces of legislation that unlock innovative ways to increase our supply of decent, safe, affordable housing.


The first establishes the New York City Public Housing Preservation Trust and paves the way for the overdue repair, rehabilitation, and modernization of 25,000 apartments under control of the New York City Housing Authority.


The second creates more flexible rules for converting underutilized hotels and commercial space in New York City into permanent housing.


In August, Governor Hochul also signed a legislative package expanding tax relief for New York homeowners, particularly those age 60 and older, and improving the Residential Emergency Services to Offer Repairs to the Elderly program. HCR's RESTORE program provides financial resources for senior homeowners to make repairs that allow them to continue living independently in their homes.

Strengthening New York's Communities

Through the Office of Community Renewal, HCR builds more vibrant communities by supporting projects that complement local economic development initiatives and neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Food Bank of the Hudson Valley

Our $10.7 million Community Development Block Grant CARES award to the town of Montgomery will enable the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley to construct a 40,000-square-foot distribution warehouse, expanding their capacity to deliver food assistance to 400 member agencies across six counties.

Commission on Economic Opportunity

Commissioner Visnauskas helped break ground on an expansion of the Commission on Economic Opportunity’s Community Center in downtown Troy. Our $5 million CDBG CARES award will support three early childhood classrooms, an outdoor space, and a community room – benefitting families and seniors in Troy for decades to come.

Main Street Awards

HCR awarded $5.3 million through the New York Main Street program to nonprofit organizations and municipalities across the state to support projects that improve and revitalize Main Streets through façade renovations, interior commercial and upper story residential improvements, and streetscape enhancements.

Vacant home

This year, Governor Hochul secured $50 million for local land banks, the state’s first-ever dedicated source of funding to help New York's land banks reduce blight and transform vacant properties. Phase I of the Land Bank Initiative provides $15 million to assist in land bank operations.

Addressing Historic Inequities in Housing 

This year, HCR made progress on its commitment to address historic inequities in housing and build a more equitable New York State for all. Our continued investments in delivering economic opportunities to disadvantaged communities and tackling the racial wealth gap are a central part of the Governor’s historic housing plan and are at the heart of HCR’s mission.

Governor Hochul in Buffalo

As part of the state’s efforts to address the ongoing needs of the East Buffalo community, Governor Hochul announced three initiatives designed to expand homeownership across East Buffalo’s neighborhoods and help keep current homeowners safely housed: Buffalo East Homeowner Assistance Fund, Buffalo East Home Improvement Program, and East Buffalo Down Payment Assistance Plus Program.

Vital Brookdale

In November, HCR celebrated the completion of Vital Brookdale, an $82 million development that is the first of ten affordable housing developments to be completed under the Vital Brooklyn Initiative – a strategy developed in partnership with local community leaders to address chronic disparities in access to health and housing in Central Brooklyn’s neighborhoods.

Legacy Cities ACCESS

Construction began in October on the first project funded through the $25 million Legacy City ACCESS program in the city of Kingston. The program will transform blighted structures into newly renovated, move-in-ready homes that will help expand affordable homeownership opportunities for first-time buyers and households of color.

Building a Greener New York

Over the last year, HCR intensified its efforts to meet the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals by ramping up our Weatherization Assistance Program to help New Yorkers improve energy efficiency in their homes as well as launching a new $250 million Climate Friendly Homes Fund in partnership with the Community Preservation Corporation to help electrify 10,000 homes across the state.


HCR also unveiled new Sustainability Guidelines for construction and preservation projects to ensure buildings within our portfolio meet the highest standards of green design. Some standout examples from the past year include La Mora Senior Apartments in Yonkers, a highly energy-efficient development expected to achieve Passive House Institute certifications; and The Rise, a Vital Brooklyn development that was awarded $1 million through NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence competition for its design as a high-performance, low-carbon emitting building built to Passive House and LEED Gold standards. 

Protecting New York's Tenants

Protecting New York’s renters from bad actors remains a priority for HCR and our Tenant Protection Unit, now led by Deputy Commissioner Pavita Krishnaswamy. 

In October, Commissioner Visnauskas and Attorney General Letitia James announced a settlement with Greg Fournier and his real estate company, Greenbrook Holdings, LLC, over tenant harassment and unlawful practices in 188 buildings in Brooklyn. The settlement stipulates that Fournier and Greenbrook will pay penalties and are required to correct hundreds of violations across 22 of the most egregiously managed buildings.

Development Highlights

Olympic Avenue Apartments

Governor Hochul celebrated the groundbreaking of Olympic Avenue Apartments, a $19 million development that will convert East Buffalo’s long-vacant and historic Public School 78 into 46 highly energy-efficient apartments and a new community center.

Olbiston Apartments

Commissioner Visnauskas broke ground in June on a $67 million rehabilitation of the historic Olbiston Apartments in Utica. The 124-year-old building will undergo extensive renovations to create 153 affordable, modern, and energy-efficient homes.

Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman, and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced a refinancing of the Bronx’s Co-op City that will maintain long-term housing quality and affordability for the tens of thousands of residents who call Co-op City home. Refinancing also provides the housing company with $124 million for capital improvements.

Harbor View Square

Construction is now complete on Harbor View Square, a $26 million project that transformed a former manufacturing site into 75 apartments and 10,000 square feet of commercial space, while also improving the pedestrian connection between downtown Oswego and the waterfront. The development was awarded Upstate Project of the Year by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing.

Starhill Phase I

Governor Hochul joined New York City Mayor Eric Adams to announce the start of construction on Starhill Phase 1 in the Bronx’s Morris Heights neighborhood. The $189 million development will create 326 homes, including 200 with supportive services for adults experiencing homelessness.

Ithaca Housing Authority Redevelopment

A $75 million renovation is underway to upgrade and preserve affordability at two outdated Ithaca Housing Authority properties and replace another obsolete Authority property. The redevelopment is designed to be all-electric and was awarded funding through the Clean Energy Initiative for multifamily buildings.

Canal Commons

HCR kicked off NYSAFAH’s Upstate Conference in September by celebrating the groundbreaking of Canal Commons, a $64 million development that will convert a 19th century manufacturing facility in Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony neighborhood into 123 affordable apartments, including 70 with supportive services.

11 Park Drive Apartments

Commissioner Visnauskas cut the ribbon on 11 Park Drive Apartments in the Suffolk County hamlet of Wyandanch. The building features 94 affordable homes for seniors and is the fourth phase of residential development at Wyandanch Village, a 40-acre parcel located adjacent to the Wyandanch Long Island Railroad station.

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