The Office of the Governor of the State of New York

06/03/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/03/2024 10:49

Governor Hochul Celebrates Groundbreaking for the Redevelopment of the Commodore Perry Homes in Buffalo

June 3, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Celebrates Groundbreaking for the Redevelopment of the Commodore Perry Homes in Buffalo

Governor Hochul Celebrates Groundbreaking for the Redevelopment of the Commodore Perry Homes in Buffalo

$254 Million, 27-Building Development Will Replace Vacant 24-Building Complex, Creating 405 New Affordable Apartments in Buffalo's First Ward Neighborhood

Builds on Governor Hochul's Commitment to Addressing the Housing Crisis by Unlocking Housing Potential Across New York State - Including in Western New York

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction on the redevelopment of the Commodore Perry Homes in Buffalo's First Ward neighborhood. The new, all-electric housing development will consist of 405 affordable homes in 27 newly constructed buildings.

"With this investment, we are transforming the Perry Homes site from a symbol of decline and decay to a symbol of rebirth and resurgence," Governor Hochul said. "This community-driven development will open up opportunities for residents and businesses alike, all while increasing state-of-the-art affordable housing options in Buffalo."

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In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved over 12,000 affordable homes in Erie County. Commodore Perry Homes continues this effort and is part of Governor Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will create or preserve 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.

After many years of planning and work, the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority and the development team prepared a comprehensive transformation plan for the Commodore Perry public housing development neighborhood. Perry Homes I is the first phase of that multi-phase transformation plan and involves the redevelopment of an 18-acre portion of the existing public housing development site.

The project began in mid-April with the demolition of 24 derelict and vacant structures that had been boarded up for a decade. The demolished buildings will be replaced with 27 buildings that include three mid-rise, mixed-use buildings with 9,000 square feet of commercial space, and 24 two- and three-story townhouse-style apartment buildings.

Once complete, the new Perry Homes will include 405 high-quality apartments, all of which will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Of the total units, 284 will be covered under a Section 8 Project-Based Housing Assistance Payment contract administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Multifamily Housing.

The redevelopment will also feature comprehensive on-site amenities, including a centrally-located property management office, maintenance suite, mail and package rooms, two community rooms with a kitchenette, three fitness centers, shared laundry on each floor and bicycle storage.

Residents will be provided free broadband Internet service and Wi-Fi, and they will also enjoy access to green space and outdoor amenities, such as four playgrounds, each designed to maximize play for children ages 2-12; multiple tree groves; rain gardens to support stormwater management practices; and two outdoor plazas with picnic tables, card tables, benches, and room for gathering and programming.

On-site surface parking, including 30 electric vehicle charging stations provided through a partnership with Tesla, will be accessible across the site for residential tenant use, commercial visitors, and management staff.

With this investment, we are transforming the Perry Homes site from a symbol of decline and decay to a symbol of rebirth and resurgence."

Governor Hochul

Perry Homes I is designed to be a highly efficient, all-electric project meeting Enterprise Green Communities 2020 Plus certification requirements and the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home Version 1 program. As part of New York State's Homes and Community Renewal Clean Energy Initiative, the new buildings will have high performance windows, enhanced insulation, a combination of high efficiency building mounted LED lighting to promote safety, and solar panels on each of the three mid-rise buildings. Every apartment will be equipped with inverter-driven air source heat pumps for air conditioning and heating and electric hot water heaters, ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, and low-flow plumbing fixtures.

The site is in the First Ward neighborhood in south Buffalo and residents will have easy access to the New York Thruway via I-190 at Louisiana Street and Perry Street. Bus access, which is available along South Park Avenue and Perry Street, provides quick access to downtown and places of employment. There are numerous shopping destinations and health care facilities nearby, as well as adult and childcare, a public library, and a community center.

The development team is Pennrose and Bridges Development, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation affiliate of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. The Perry Homes redevelopment will use the Federal Housing and Urban Development RAD program to convert the vacant public housing units to Project-Based Rental Assistance.

Financing for the $254 million development includes $21.9 million in tax-exempt bonds, $115.7 million in State and Federal Low Income Tax Credits, and $83.1 million in subsidy from HCR. Empire State Development provided $5 million in Restore New York funding. Additional funds include: $6 million in BMHA Capital Fund Program; $1.1 million in Buffalo Community Development Block Grants; $5 million in RAD Rehab Assistance Payments; and $1.6 million in Federal 45L tax credits.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Redeveloping the Commodore Perry Homes is a transformative project for Buffalo, presenting the chance to inject vitality into a long-dormant public housing complex. By creating more than 400 modern, energy-efficient apartments, we are demonstrating our continued commitment to creating more affordable housing opportunities and enriching neighborhoods across Buffalo. We thank Governor Hochul and our local partners for their focus on utilizing all the tools available to build a more affordable New York for all."

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "The start of construction on the all-electric Commodore Perry Homes is an exciting step closer to making more energy efficient, affordable housing available in Buffalo. Once completed, this transformational project will ensure residents benefit from healthier and more comfortable homes that maximize energy savings while integrating improved building performance."

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, "For too long, the vacant Commodore Perry Homes complex has been an eyesore in Buffalo's First Ward neighborhood, but now this building will come down so new apartments can go up, transforming the area into a site of new growth and economic opportunity. Every Buffalo resident deserves access to safe, affordable housing, and I am proud that the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit I fought hard to fund has supplied the millions needed to transform these aging buildings into hundreds of new affordable housing units. High housing costs are a key driver of inflation so we must build more housing to bring down those high prices. I applaud Governor Hochul's commitment to increasing access to affordable housing across the Empire State, and I will keep fighting to deliver the federal resources to lay the foundation for a brighter future for Western New York."

Representative Tim Kennedy said, "The new Perry Homes will play an important role in providing high quality affordable housing to Buffalo residents. With more than $254 million being invested into reenergizing this community's housing supply, this initiative is enlisting all levels of government to breathe new life into a historic neighborhood. This latest development is catalyzed by progress including the successful reconstruction of Ohio Street and the scheduled reconstruction of Louisiana Street, delivering tens of millions of dollars in federal and state funding into revitalizing Buffalo's streetscape and providing a better quality of life for its residents."

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "Congratulations to Pennrose, BMHA, Bridges Development, and Commodore Perry residents on the groundbreaking for new affordable housing. These new residential units and commercial spaces will be all-electric, energy efficient, and affordable. Everyone deserves to live in clean, safe housing. Without the support of Governor Hochul, Empire State Development and New York Homes & Community Renewal, none of this would be possible."

HUD Regional Administrator Alicka Ampry-Samuel said, "I am pleased that HUD will play an ongoing major role in the future of hundreds of Commodore Perry families by providing residents with monthly rental subsidies via project-based rental assistance. After many years of blight and great effort from our partners, Commodore Perry will finally become new, affordable homes for hundreds of Buffalonians and a safe community for this grand city," said Alicka Ampry-Samuel, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. HUD also provided $6 million in capital funds, $1.1 million in Community Development Block Grant Funding, over $5 million in Rehab Assistance Payments, and $16 million in Housing Trust Fund resources through NY State. I commend the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority for their work with this Buffalo centerpiece and look forward to returning to meet the families that will turn this site into an uplifting neighborhood."

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, "Affordable housing is a critical need in our community and creating more of it is a high priority. The redevelopment of the Commodore Perry Homes will bring over four hundred new affordable housing units to Erie County, all highly efficient and available to households with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median income. This project reinvigorates the Perry neighborhood in South Buffalo and I thank Governor Hochul for her continued focus on the affordable housing issue."

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "We have worked hard to get the BMHA Commodore Perry development underway. This development will provide an excellent quality of life for the residents in this area. I am proud of the work BMHA and our Office of Strategic Planning has done to move this development forward. My administration and our Office of Strategic Planning were successful in securing the funds necessary for the development. This includes $6.1 million in grants from the City of Buffalo through ReStore NY and Community Block Grant programs; $6 million in Capital Funds from the BMHA; $5 million in Department of Housing and Urban Development RAD Rehab Assistance aid, and, $1.6 million in federal energy-efficient homes funds. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her important role in all of this and her continued support of my administration's mission to continue to strengthen the city of Buffalo."

Regional Vice President at Pennrose Dylan Salmons said, "We're proud to join the state, Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, Bridges Development, Inc., and all our project partners on this comprehensive transformation plan. Today's groundbreaking represents years of collaboration, and is an exciting next step in delivering high-quality, affordable housing, robust resident amenities, and comprehensive supportive services to the First Ward neighborhood."

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