HCR Announces Completion of $20 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Syracuse

New York State Commissioner for Housing and Community Renewal RuthAnne Visnauskas announced today the completion of a $20 million project to convert the historic St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School and Convent into an affordable and supportive housing development are to be converted. Known as Gardens at St Anthony’s Apartments, the project now offers 54 apartments for adults aged 55 and over, with half of the apartments reserved for seniors requiring support services.

“The state’s investment in the historic but decaying St. Anthony’s School and Convent has produced 54 affordable homes that will provide security and stability for new residents.” said Commissioner Visnauskas. “The lovingly restored centuries-old buildings are now a common property for Syracuse’s South Side and a beautiful place to call home. Congratulations to Home Leasing and our other partners who saw the potential in the long vacant property and helped bring it back to life.”

The gardens at St Anthony’s Apartments are part of Governor Hochul’s far-reaching plans to make housing more affordable, equitable and stable. The governor is building on the success of the state’s first housing plan with a new 5-year, $25 billion initiative that will create and maintain an additional 100,000 affordable homes in urban and rural areas across New York, including 10,000 with support services.

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School and Monastery building was originally constructed in 1926 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. After closing as a private school, the Syracuse City School District used the property until 2009. The city’s five-year plan for the Southside neighborhood, the result of a planning initiative led by residents and stakeholders, identified the property as a neighborhood development that should be restored.

The renovated property includes 27 apartments for seniors who will have access to on-site services funded by the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and managed by the New York State Department of Health. These supporting services are coordinated and provided by Nascentia Health. The remaining apartments are for adults aged 55 and over with an income of no more than 60 percent of the area median income.

Gardens at St. Anthony’s Apartments’ eco-friendly and energy-efficient features include low-VOC building materials and Energy Star appliances, equipment and lighting.

Living facilities include a common room and kitchen in the former gymnasium, a laundry and a fitness room.

The developer and property manager is Home Leasing, the service provider is Nascentia Health. The renovations were carried out by Home Leasing Construction.

State funding for The Gardens at St. Anthony’s includes Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, which generated $11.1 million in equity and $2.6 million in grants from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation awarded state and state historic tax credits that generated $5.9 million in equity, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $52,400 in support. The City of Syracuse provided $700,000 in HOME funding.

said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T Bassett“Affordable housing and housing with essential support services are among the most important health resources that can have a lasting impact. Governor Hochul is proving that this historic and ambitious housing plan for the benefit of New Yorkers in need is feasible one neighborhood at a time.”

Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said: “The Gardens at St. Anthony’s Apartments project is another great example of conservation bringing new life to upstate cities like Syracuse. The Historic Tax Credit program drives investments in historic buildings, which helps boost local economies, expand housing, promote sustainability and preserve local heritage.”

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA said: “With the completion of the gardens at St. Anthony’s Apartments, Syracuse’s most vulnerable residents now have improved access to affordable and supportive housing that showcases industry-leading energy efficiency practices and appliances. Renovating historic buildings like this shows that we can transform our existing building stock to advance the state’s goal of reducing harmful emissions while ensuring all New Yorkers benefit from the clean energy transition.”

Senator Rachel May said: “The Gardens at St. Anthony’s is a wonderful example of Syracuse’s growth – a property that has been vacant for a long period of time and has been brought back to life with quality, attractive and affordable housing for our seniors. I am pleased to see that our state’s investments are being used wisely and that our neighbors are moving in.”

Congregation member Pamela J. Hunter said: “The conversion of the Catholic School and Convent of St Anthony of Padua into the gardens of St Anthony’s Apartments is a great example of creatively using the resources at our disposal to create affordable housing opportunities for our residents. While I am pleased with the many supportive housing units available to our seniors, I look forward to continuing this work to make more affordable housing units available to the public.”

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said: “Access to affordable housing that also provides comprehensive services is a key priority for Onondaga County. In addition, the revitalization of the historic St. Anthony Padua Catholic School and Church will provide vital stabilization to an important neighborhood in our city.”

Mayor Ben Walsh said: “The Gardens at St. Anthony’s is a creative example of breathing new life into historic buildings and providing quality, affordable and accessible housing for people exactly where they want to live. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her support of the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and New York State Homes and Community Renewal. I am pleased that we were able to invest the city’s resources in this transformational project, and I am grateful for the partnership of Home Leasing, Nascentia Health and everyone else who helped make this a reality.”

Home Leasing CEO Bret Garwood said, “The Gardens at St. Anthony’s brings 54 affordable housing for seniors to Syracuse. Thank you to our partners Nascentia Health, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the City of Syracuse and the many community members who helped make this possible.”

Nascentia Chief Clinical Officer Andrea Lazarek-LaQuay said: “Nascentia Health is so proud to be a partner of Home Leasing at The Gardens at St. Anthony. We have already seen amazing changes in the lives of vulnerable seniors who now have beautiful, safe and stable housing. The improvement in their quality of life and health is incredible.”

Accelerating the rise of the CNY

Today’s announcement complements CNY Rising, the region’s comprehensive plan to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Now the region is accelerating CNY’s rise with a US$500 million government investment under the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The state’s $500 million investment will spur private companies to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as presented, envisages up to 5,900 new jobs. More information can be found here.

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