09/24/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2020 15:51
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction is underway on the North Pearl Street Apartments, a $6 million project developed by St. Catherine's Center for Children that will provide 20 units of supportive housing for youth and families experiencing homelessness in the city of Albany. Funded through the state's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, the development will offer permanent housing and supportive services for youth and families where the head of household is diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder.
'We have made an unprecedented commitment to address housing and homelessness across our State, including creating thousands of new affordable and supportive housing units for New Yorkers,' Governor Cuomo said. 'Projects like the North Pearl Street Apartments address both the shelter and support needs of those experiencing homelessness and are at the vanguard of our efforts to ensure all New Yorkers have a safe, stable place to live.'
'Now more than ever, it is important that we continue to fund developments and programs that are helping lift people out of poverty and provide the dignity and security of a good home,' Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. 'The North Pearl Street Apartments, currently under construction in Albany, will provide 20 units of supportive housing for youth and families, and St. Catherine's Center for Children will help provide residents with critical programs - including mental health and substance abuse treatment, nutritional training, and workforce development. This is part of our ambitious $20 billion, five-year housing plan to combat homelessness, enhance quality of life for all New Yorkers, and build back better and more inclusive.'
The North Pearl Street Apartments will replace a vacant former adult home, which had fallen into serious disrepair. The previous structure was demolished over the summer and will be replaced with a modern three-story apartment building featuring 20 units of permanent supportive housing, which are projected to open next year.
The units will be specifically reserved for youth and families facing homelessness where the head of household is diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder. St. Catherine's will provide residents with case management, care coordination, nutritional training, workforce development, parenting classes, and mental health/substance use treatment.
The project relies on $5.6 million in financing from the state's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, which is administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. In addition, funding for the supportive services will be provide through Governor Cuomo's Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. Additional funding for the project was provided through a grant from the New York State Energy Research Development Authority and the St. Catherine's Center for the Children Foundation.
St. Catherine's Executive Director Frank Pindiak said, 'St. Catherine's Center for Children is incredibly proud to be building the region's newest Supportive Housing Apartment Complex in Albany. When it opens next year, this 20-unit complex will not only provide housing for the region's most vulnerable persons, but it will also provide support services that promote human dignity. Our North Pearl Street Apartment Complex is more than a building. It is a place that will build human potential.'
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, 'Supportive services are a crucial component in helping New Yorkers who face homelessness find and maintain lasting housing stability. The North Pearl Street Apartments will provide new hope for the youth and families of Albany, while breathing new life into a long dormant property. I applaud Governor Cuomo for providing the funding needed to bring projects like this to fruition.'
Senator Neil Breslin said, 'Supportive housing is greatly needed in the Capital District, and there is no one better suited than St. Catherine's Center for Children to sponsor additional housing.'
Assembly Member John T. McDonald III said, 'Today's groundbreaking of the North Pearl Street Apartments is welcome news given the incredible need for affordable housing across our region. When built, these apartments will provide a place to call home for 20 families experiencing homelessness and an opportunity for a fresh start with the supportive services they need. This is an inclusive and exciting project and I thank Governor Cuomo, St. Catherine's Center for Children and all others involved in bringing this development to fruition.'
Assembly Member Patricia Fahy said, 'As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our most vulnerable, at-risk populations and members of our society will also continue to be impacted in a disproportionate manner. The ongoing global health emergency has hit these populations the hardest - while devastating supportive services and other supportive programs in the process. North Pearl Street apartments, which includes healthcare, counseling, mental health support, and employment assistance, will help transform the lives of those who are experiencing homelessness and other families and youth in need of supportive services - and I thank the various public and private entities for once again investing in our community.'
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, 'COVID-19 has exacerbated homelessness, addiction and mental health issues, and the only way to address them is through affordable housing and social services. This new 20-unit complex is a huge victory for families still struggling to make ends meet. This development will have the added benefit of supporting our economic recovery, ensuring even more residents with diverse incomes call it home. I'm proud Albany County could provide the land to make this project possible, and I commend the Governor and St. Catherine's for their vision.'
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, 'The new affordable housing that will be made available at 543 North Pearl Street will help ensure that coordinated human services are available for those individuals who suffer from chronic homelessness as well as physical or mental health obstacles. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, the New York State Office for Temporary and Disability Assistance, and St. Catherine's for their commitment to ensuring housing with dignity is available to our most vulnerable residents.'
The North Pearl Street Apartments are part of the Governor's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year housing plan, which is creating or preserving 100,000 units of affordable housing and has spurred the development of more than 6,600 of supportive housing units across the state. Building on this commitment, Governor Cuomo's enacted 2021 state budget increased the available funding for the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program from $64 million to $128 million, including $5 million earmarked for supportive housing for homeless veterans; $5 million for supportive housing for individuals with AIDS who are experiencing homelessness; and $1 million for necessary repairs to emergency shelters.