SARATOGA SPRINGS– As Saratoga Springs grapples with how to provide more affordable housing, Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced that a project in the city will receive $61.6 million in state funding.
The funding will support the construction of 202 affordable housing units between a combination of townhomes and three-story walk-up buildings, according to a press release from Hochul.
The over-$77 million project is located on 13.8 acres of land on Tait Lane east of Allen Drive. NRP, which has done 122 projects across 11 states, including building over 8,000 affordable or workforce housing units, will develop the project, according to documents provided to the state Homes and Community Renewal.
According to those documents the project consists of four buildings housing a total of 22 condos and eight, three-story buildings for apartments. The cost to construct each unit is around $245,000.
“I think it’s great the governor is committed to affordable housing throughout the state, but Saratoga Springs is definitely one of those cities that needs it,” said Mayor Ron Kim.
The project is part of a larger initiative by the Governor’s Office to build more than 1,600 affordable homes using $390 million in financing to support the construction and an even bigger initiative the governor laid out in her State of the State address. As part of the fiscal year 2023 budget, Hochul announced the state has secured a “$25 billion five-year, comprehensive housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes,” states the release.
“When coupled with additional private funding and resources, the ten projects receiving funding are expected to create more than $600 million in overall investment that will assist local economic development efforts and advance New York’s commitment to expanding the supply of safe, secure, and healthy housing opportunities for individuals and families across the state,” states the release.
As part of the project, 10 apartments would be reserved for aiding people who have experienced domestic violence situations, said Wellspring CEO Maggie Fronk, who is working with the developer on the project.
“They’re folks who without this resource wouldn’t have a way for their family to get out of an abusive home,” she said.
Wellspring has been running a rent subsidized housing program for 15 years throughout Saratoga County but this is the first time the agency is working with the developer to establish the apartments.
The hope is this project will get other developers to do the same.
“I can speak for Wellspring and I can also speak for many of our other impact sector agencies, that we are very open to working with any builder to help with affordable and workforce housing needs in our community,” she said.
At the Tait Lane project, the buildings will have energy-efficient technology and also stainless steel appliances, central heating and cooling, walk-in closets, individual bulk storage and exterior porches or patios. There will also be a community room, fitness center, clubhouse, playground and on-site laundry, according to the documents.
Rents for the units will be restricted to 30%, 50% or 60% of the area median income, which will be regulated by the state Housing Finance Agency.
The project would also include a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement with the city in which the city would receive around $113,500 annually, according to the documents provided by NRP to Homes and Community Renewal.
The governor’s announcement comes as the city continues to look for ways to house people in its community, which has seen the average price of a home in Saratoga Springs jump to over $500,000, up from 2019 when it was around $315,000.
Most recently the city approved a resolution to seek a $1 million grant through Restore New York to help build condos with a total of 66 units at 53 Putnam St., a former brownfield site that was previously a dry cleaner and garbage garage location.
During the City Council’s Tuesday night meeting, Kim said the developers have already invested over $3 million to acquire and clean the site and now want to partner with the city and other nonprofits to create affordable housing. The condos would be offered at 80% the area median income.
In December the city provided new details on plans for rents for the Liberty Saratoga Apartment complex, which is in the design phases to be built on the corner of Crescent Avenue and Jefferson Street near Saratoga Hotel and Casino.
That 200-unit workforce housing project will have rents ranging from $995 to $1,200 for one-bedroom apartments and from $1,200 to $1,650 for two-bedroom apartments.
Under the Liberty project, people making anywhere from $44,520 to $84,800 will be eligible to apply for an apartment in the Liberty Saratoga Apartment complex once it’s built.
Those income ranges are based on the average median income for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy region.
“The median family income in the Capital District region is $106,000,” states a previous press release from the city.