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Completion of 74-Unit Affordable Housing Development in Oneida County

$41 Million Rehabilitation at Colonial II Apartments Preserves and Improves Homes for Seniors and People with Disabilities in the City of Rome

Project Awarded $1 Million Through New York’s Buildings of Excellence Competition to Achieve Net-Zero Carbon Emissions

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of the rehabilitation and modernization of Colonial II Apartments in the city of Rome in Oneida County. Operated by the Rome Housing Authority, the development provides 74 affordable homes for seniors and people with disabilities. The project was awarded $1 million through the State’s Buildings of Excellence Competition, which aims to advance net-zero carbon multifamily buildings in New York.

“Building a more equitable New York means ensuring that all residents have access to safe, secure, and affordable housing opportunities," Governor Hochul said. “Colonial II Apartments now provides modern, energy-efficient homes for seniors and individuals with disabilities, enhancing their quality of life, fortifying community bonds, and advancing our State's nation-leading climate objectives for a sustainable future.”

In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved over 1,500 affordable homes in Oneida County. Colonial II Apartments continues this effort and complements 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.

Colonial II Apartments was originally constructed in 1972 as a school and dormitory, and later converted to public housing in 1984. Prior to this rehabilitation, the building had not been upgraded in decades and was rendered functionally obsolete.

Beacon Communities Development LLC and the Rome Housing Authority redeveloped the property and Colonial Apartments II now features one-bedroom units for residents with incomes at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income. The scope of rehabilitation work included reconfiguring apartments to increase their size, and extensive energy upgrades that enabled the building to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. These energy enhancements include geothermal heating and cooling systems and a vast solar array that is expected to supply 98 percent of the building’s energy.

Financing for Colonial II Apartments includes $2 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, $16.6 million in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and $12.5 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority awarded the project $1 million through the Buildings of Excellence Competition and provided incentives of $296,000 from the Multifamily New Construction Program and $194,740 from the NY-Sun Program. Additional financing was provided by the Rome Housing Authority.

Renovations to Colonial I Apartments, also financed by HCR, were completed in 2019. Colonial I offers 83 affordable homes for seniors and people with disabilities.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The rehabilitation of Colonial II Apartments preserves a vital community asset and exemplifies our dedication to the development of zero-carbon buildings across the State through the use ofmodern solutions like geothermal heating and on-site solar energy. This development, which improves the quality of life for 74 seniors and people with disabilities in Oneida County, underscores our collective efforts towards a greener, more inclusive future for all New Yorkers. Congratulations to the Rome Housing Authority and Beacon Communities for ensuring that Colonial remains a safe, comfortable and affordable place to call home.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “The Colonial II Apartments represent the best in class multifamily residential projects advancing through the State's Buildings of Excellence Competition and are paramount to achieving Governor Hochul’s goal of providing all New Yorkers with access to affordable, more energy efficient housing. NYSERDA congratulates Colonial II on this milestone and their vision for offering comprehensive amenities that will deliver significant health and environmental benefits for their residents and the community at large.”

State Senator Joseph Griffo said, “I am pleased that the Colonial II Apartments in Rome have been renovated, rehabilitated and preserved. This project will provide seniors and individuals with disabilities in the community with access to modern and energy efficient housing. “

Assemblymember Marianne Buttenschon said, “I am proud to acknowledge that the Colonial II Apartments in Rome are complete after nine months of construction. At a time when we are facing a shortage of housing for our seniors and those with disabilities, the Colonial II Apartments will provide safe and affordable housing to our most vulnerable. I want to applaud the hardworking construction team who worked tirelessly to provide housing to seniors and people with disabilities. I thank NYS Homes & Community Renewal and the Governor for making this important announcement today.”

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. said, “The modernization of the Colonial II Apartments preserves and enhances much-needed public housing for the elderly and disabled in the City of Rome. This first-of-its-kind net-zero carbon project is a model for energy efficiency and I am happy to see it completed. I commend the Rome Housing Authority for its vision and thank New York State for the funding to make it happen.”

City of Rome Mayor Jeffery Lanigan said, “On behalf of the City of Rome, I want to thank Governor Hochul, the Department of Housing and Community Renewal, NYSERDA and all of our state and local elected officials and project partners for their continued and significant investment in our community. I also want to thank and congratulate the Rome Housing Authority and Beacon Development for their exceptional dedication in successfully bringing this project to fruition. This project stands as a testament to our collective commitment to providing safe, modern, affordable, and accessible housing for our residents. This was a transformative endeavor which will have benefits to this community for many years to come.”

Rome Housing Authority Executive Director Maureen Birmingham said, “The Rome Housing Authority is proud to be at the forefront of improving energy-efficiency in public housing, which will help the state meet its clean energy goals while reducing overall utility costs for tenants. This multi-stage renovation project has transformed and modernized Colonial II, making it a model for similar buildings statewide. I greatly appreciate all the work that went into this project and particularly thanks the tenants for their patience and flexibility. The results have been worth the wait!”

Beacon Communities LLC CEO Dara Kovel said, “Completion of the Colonial II renovation demonstrates at a new level that combatting climate change and addressing the affordable housing crisis are not mutually exclusive. At Beacon, we have made sustainability a top priority, reducing carbon emissions and cutting energy costs – all while improving quality of life for residents. Preserving and improving existing public housing ensures individuals can remain in their communities for years to come. We are so grateful to everyone who worked to bring the Colonial II project across the finish line, setting a new standard for future housing investments across the State.”

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