Schenectady

Affordable housing expanding in Schenectady

The exterior of some of the new units at Yates Village on VanVranken Avenue Friday
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The exterior of some of the new units at Yates Village on VanVranken Avenue Friday

SCHENECTADY — The first phase of the redeveloped Yates Village affordable housing complex is ready for occupancy.

Mayor Gary McCarthy and other officials gathered Friday to announce new affordable housing opportunities in the city, including the completion of $24 million in reconstruction at Yates, the Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority’s biggest project.

The work has replaced 75 aging units at the complex on Van Vranken Avenue with 89 new units, to be occupied by people eligible for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development housing. Work began in September 2019.

At Yates Phase I, 57 units are affordable to low-income households earning up to 50 percent of the average median income of surrounding counties, 17 units for households earning up to 60 percent of AMI, and 15 units for households earning up to 80% of AMI.

A second phase of work at Yates Village will include the redevelopment of 211 affordable housing units. No residents will pay greater than 30 percent of their adjusted gross income on rent and utilities.

The work has been paid for with a combination of federal, state and other funding sources, since officials say that ever repeated cuts, federal housing funds are no longer sufficient to meet the need.

“Yates Village was built over 70 years ago. It became obsolete, and we were in danger of losing this precious affordable housing resource,” said Rich Homenick, the Municipal Housing Authority’s executive director. “To replace and develop new affordable apartments, housing authorities must be creative because we can no longer rely on sufficient Public Housing subsidies from the federal government.”

“The redevelopment of Yates Village is long overdue and these new quality apartments are affordable,” McCarthy said. “Affordable housing rent is based upon the income of the resident. No low-income residents in affordable housing units pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities.”

“Quality affordable housing is a lifeline for working families struggling during the pandemic which is why this initiative is so critical to the health of our community and the vibrancy of our neighborhoods,” McCarthy said.

The mayor said there are 965 units of affordable housing recently built or renovated in the city. In addition to Yates, they include 196 new units at three locations in Hamilton Hill, and 55 units at Renaissance Square on Eastern Avenue.

Also attending Friday’s event was the CEO of Better Community Neighborhoods Inc., a private non-profit formed with the recent merger of two other housing organizations. It seeks to further boost neighborhood building programs and services in Schenectady.

BCNI says it will provide assistance to first time homeowners through financial literacy programs and homebuyer education. The organization will also seek opportunities to develop new affordable housing.

“With scarce resources in uncertain times, the need has never been so great to be coordinated and strategic with investments and partnerships to effectuate comprehensive neighborhood revitalization,” said Jennica Huff, the CEO.

People interested in the new Yates Village may contact the Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority at (518) 386-7000. Better Community Neighborhoods, meanwhile, has launched a new website, www.bcnhousing.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Schenectady County

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