The 3.3-acre property across the street from True Bethel Baptist Church was once a toxic site where several plants dumped waste over the years.
Sunday, there was a ceremonial groundbreaking at the former brownfield on East Ferry Street, the site of a $5.3 million project to develop 30 townhouse units to be marketed to low- and moderate-income tenants.
“This project will provide decent, safe and affordable housing to families in the City of Buffalo’s Delavan-Grider neighborhood whose household income is less than 60 percent of the area median income,” said Elizabeth Huckabone, president of Belmont Housing.
The project consists of four residential buildings and a community service building with meeting space, laundry services and computers, Belmont officials have said.
The community building will be the location for life-skills workshops presented by Belmont Housing and True Community Development Corp., the church’s development arm. Among the sessions planned for tenants are educational presentations on financial fitness, budgeting, and establishing and properly using credit. A service coordinator will be on the premises to assist tenants in locating services that promote health and well-being.
The townhouse units will be a mix of two-bedroom, three-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments. Six units will be reserved for individuals with physical, hearing or vision challenges. All units will be handicap-adaptable.
Amenities include energy-efficient stoves and refrigerators, carpeting and central air conditioning. Off-street parking will be included. Tenants will be responsible for gas and electricity.
Belmont Housing and True Community Development Corp. are the developers, and Belmont Housing will market, rent and manage the property.
In 2007, the community around the 3.3-acre property mobilized to get 88,200 cubic yards of lead-laden soil removed from the Superfund site. The state spent about $8 million to remediate it to residential standards. The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program provided $390,000.
The State Housing Trust Fund Corp. also provided funding, and the project received federal housing tax credits.
The project should take about a year to complete.