Three affordable-housing projects proposed for Buffalo and Lackawanna will get $10.5 million in tax credits and low-interest loans, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.
The funds will help build 48 new single-family homes in Lackawanna; 46 rental units on the West Side; and 50 new Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority units on the East Side.
Lackawanna Mayor Geoffrey M. Szymanski called the funds a “game-changer” for Lackawanna’s 1st Ward, the poorest census tract in Erie County outside of Buffalo. “I couldn’t be happier. This is a face-lift the 1st Ward can really use,” he said.
The three Erie County projects were among 33 statewide set to receive $91 million in low-interest loans and tax credits for 2,060 affordable-housing units.
Cuomo said in a statement that the funds “will leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in private resources, creating valuable partnerships as we work to rebuild communities and create jobs in all corners of the state.”
NRP group, a Cleveland development company, has agreed to purchase 32 scattered city-owned lots for the two-, three- and four-bedroom homes that will rent for $370 to $700 per month. The homes will be available for sale after 15 years.
NRP’s plan also includes a community center and required homeowner education for potential homebuyers.
Area residents with incomes at or under 60 percent of the area median income will be eligible for the properties.
NRP sued Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown in federal court in 2011, accusing the mayor of participating in a racketeering conspiracy to kill a $12 million housing project in Buffalo’s Cold Spring section, after the developer refused to provide a service contract to one of Brown’s key political supporters.
A judge dismissed some of the suit, but the racketeering allegations were allowed to move forward, and in the middle of the lawsuit, NRP used its private jet to fly Cuomo from Albany to Buffalo for a political fundraiser last May. The private jet donation amounted to $11,500 and is legal under state law.
Cuomo awarded $2.4 million in loans through the state’s Low-Income Housing Trust Fund Program and an additional $1 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for the Lackawanna project.
Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Co., the development arm of PUSH Buffalo, plans to build nine new structures and rehabilitate seven others within a 25-block area around Massachusetts Avenue for one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments.
PUSH, or People United for Sustainable Housing, will get $2.3 million in loans, $849,052 in federal tax credits and $333,511 in state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.
The units will be rented for about $385 to $525 to people earning between 40 and 60 percent of the area’s median income, which is about $65,300.
“It would be our largest project to date,” said Jenifer Kaminsky, PUSH Buffalo’s housing director.
On the East Side, BMHA’s A.D. Price complex, between Broadway and William Street near Jefferson Avenue, will get 50 new units in the third phase of redevelopment that began in 2008. The state set aside $2.4 million in loans and $894.631 in federal tax credits for the project.