Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking of $13.8 Million Project to Build 42 Affordable Housing Units in Utica

Project Includes Affordable Housing for Working Families and Support Services for Formerly Homeless

March 29, 2017

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the groundbreaking of a $13.8 million project to construct the West Street Apartments, a 42-unit apartment building that will provide affordable housing for low-income working families as well as supportive services for formerly homeless families in Utica’s Cornhill neighborhood. A dilapidated vacant building at 1013 West Street was demolished to make way for the West Street Apartments development that is expected to open in 2018.

"Once completed, the new West Street Apartments will provide a safe, decent and affordable place for some of the most vulnerable among us," Governor Cuomo said. "Having a roof overhead is a basic human right and with these new affordable housing units, we can help ensure Mohawk Valley residents in need have access to resources, services and housing to better enable them to live a life of dignity."

The Rescue Mission of Utica will operate four programs in the onsite Community Services Facility: Morris Learning Center, Community Clothing Room, the Food Pantry and Meal Program and the Representative Payee Program.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "West Street Apartments illustrates Governor Cuomo’s commitment to providing affordable housing opportunities to hard working New Yorkers and those who are facing the challenges of living independently in their own home. I congratulate the Rescue Mission of Utica and our State and private sectors partners for working together to reach this important milestone."

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, "Governor Cuomo recognizes the importance of safe, decent, affordable housing for low-income working families, as well as those experiencing homelessness. The West Street Apartments will complement other projects in an effort to bring the Cornhill neighborhood back to what it once was, a vibrant and thriving community that residents can be proud of."

Jim Haid, Executive Director of the Rescue Mission of Utica, said, "This is a very exciting time for the Rescue Mission. As a provider in serving these populations we see the daily struggles to find quality affordable housing for clients as well as for the community in general. We are grateful for the dedication of Governor Cuomo’s team, the City of Utica and our development and financial partners."

Funding for West Street Apartments includes:

  • $10.4 million of low income housing tax credit equity, through New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Low Income Housing Tax Credits, syndicated by Enterprise Community Investment
  • $1.5 million through New York State Homes and Community Investment’s Rural and Urban Community Investment Fund
  • $1.7 million through New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program
  • $200,000 from the City of Utica’s HOME Program
  • $42,000 from the New York State Energy Development and Research Authority Low Rise New Construction program

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA said, "The West Street Apartments project is a great example of an innovative public-private sector approach to housing that is affordable, healthy and sustainable. Governor Cuomo has made it a priority to ensure all New Yorkers, regardless of income, have the opportunity to reap the many benefits of energy efficient housing."

Stephanie Benson, Chief Operating Officer and Partner of Edgemere Development, said, "West Street Apartments garnered the support of New York State quickly because of the many partners including the strong support of Mayor Palmieri, Council and City of Utica, Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, former Congressman Richard Hanna, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Senator Joseph Griffo, County Executive Anthony Picente, Central New York Services, United Cerebral Palsy, Mohawk Valley Housing and Homeless Coalition, Oneida County Department of Social Services and man, many others. We thank all those involved for their support and helping to tell our story."

Tom Eastman, Vice President of Syndication at Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., said, "Enterprise’s investment in West Street Apartments is part of our long-term effort to end housing insecurity in the U.S., which means no more homelessness and no more families paying more than half of their income on rent. We congratulate Governor Cuomo’s team, the Rescue Mission of Utica, Edgemere Development and the rest of the development and financing teams on starting construction of this exciting project."

State Senator Joseph Griffo said, "The Rescue Mission of Utica has always been a supportive and compassionate presence in the city’s Cornhill community, and this groundbreaking of West Street Apartments is one more step in advancing the Rescue Mission’s goal to help low-income and homeless families in times of need. We are all grateful for the hope the Rescue Mission continues to offer our neediest of citizens, and I am pleased the State has been able to help support this opportunity of affordable housing."

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said, "This project will greatly help meet the need for quality affordable housing in Utica. This project will include the supportive services people need to become a successful part of our community. Soon, working families will be living in an area that until very recently was occupied by abandoned, unsafe structures. I am pleased that New York State and the Rescue Mission have joined forces on a project that will make Utica a better place to live in."

Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri said, "We are very pleased Governor Cuomo’s administration approved the West Street Apartments project and we thank Jim and the entire Rescue Mission team for their hard work and tireless efforts in enhancing the lives for so many people in our community. This project will provide needed affordable housing and services for our residents."

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., said, "We are very pleased to see this project move forward. I congratulate the Governor’s team, Jim and the entire Rescue Mission team for their effort and commitment to our region and those in need."

The Rescue Mission of Utica has assembled a development team with experience in multi-family and mixed use developments, including: Edgemere Development, Inc., consulting developer; PLAN Architectural Studio, PC; Charles A. Gaetano Construction Corp, general contractor and Delta Development, civil engineer.

About the Rescue Mission of Utica

Since 1980 the Rescue Mission of Utica has served the City of Utica and Mohawk Valley, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to assist individuals overcoming homelessness, abuse, addiction and disabilities. Each year, the Rescue Mission serves about 148,000 meals to the hungry, provides more than 46,000 nights of lodging and care to those facing homelessness, assists 1,000 men and women in their battle against substance abuse, provides over 9,600 articles of free clothing for men, women and children and last year helped more than 80 percent of shelter residents find permanent/transitional housing.

About New York State Homes and Community Renewal

NYS Homes and Community Renewal’s housing and community development agencies work to create, preserve and improve affordable homes and vibrant communities, in keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision of a more inclusive, affordable, sustainable, and resilient New York. In 2016, HCR set a record for the third year in a row, financing the creation or preservation of more than 17,000 affordable homes and apartments, creating nearly 2,000 homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers, and was once again the #1 affordable housing bond issuer in the nation with $2.8 billion issued. HCR stands ready to make good on the Governor’s $10 billion 100,000 affordable units House NY 2020 commitment. For more information on HCR agencies, programs and initiatives, please visit:

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