Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking of $10.4 Million Affordable Housing Development in Rochester

Veterans Outreach Center at Liberty Landing Will Provide 33 Affordable and Supportive Homes for Veterans and Families

Investment Complements ‘Finger Lakes Forward’ – Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the construction of VOC Liberty Landing in Rochester, a new $10.4 million affordable housing development that will create 33 affordable and supportive homes for veterans and families, with 10 reserved for veterans with disabilities. The State’s investment in VOC Liberty Landing complements the Finger Lakes Forward initiative by increasing access to high quality and supportive affordable housing to help residents remain in the community and live independently.

“We have an obligation to ensure those who served our country and families in need have a safe and healthy place to call home,” Governor Cuomo said. “This affordable and supportive housing investment will help our veterans and other New Yorkers thrive and is part and parcel with our broader strategy to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

“We honor the service of our veterans by ensuring that they have the support they need, and that includes affordable and supportive housing,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today’s announcement. “VOC Liberty Landing in the City of Rochester continues to build on the development of the area and is part of our statewide commitment to investing in affordable housing options for all New Yorkers.”

Governor Cuomo’s commitment to strengthening communities and growing the Finger Lakes economy is reflected in “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. Since 2011, HCR has invested $442 million in the Finger Lakes region that has created affordable housing for about 14,650 residents.

VOC Liberty Landing is the new construction of a single four-story, energy efficient building on the vacant site of a former warehouse in downtown Rochester’s Center City Grove Place neighborhood.

The development will have 27 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments with rents affordable to households making up to 60 percent of the area median income. Four apartments are designed to be fully accessible for individuals with mobility impairments and two designed to meet the needs of those who are hearing or visually impaired.

VOC Liberty Landing will have an elevator, community and exercise rooms, laundry facilities, computer area and resident storage space. Veterans Outreach Center will provide support services to veterans including benefits and financial counseling, employment and job training, and peer-to-peer mentoring and wellness services. The developer is Conifer, LLC.

The development is directly across the street from a Rochester Transportation System bus stop, which will provide easy access to employment opportunities, pharmacies, child care centers and health, banking and veterans’ services.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s financing for VOC Liberty Landing includes federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $5.3 million in equity and $3.3 million in subsidy. Rental assistance and funding for supportive services will be provided by the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. Additional financing will be provided by City of Rochester HOME funds and the Federal Home Loan Bank.

The Governor’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the State’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with support services. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multi-family and single-family housing and community development.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “VOC Liberty Landing will provide affordable homes to 33 households, including veterans, allowing residents to live independently in the community they love. We are proud to support these individuals who have served our nation and sacrificed so much for us. When we expand opportunities for safe, secure homes for all New Yorkers, we strengthen our economy and keep the Finger Lakes region moving forward.”

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Mike Hein said, “Supportive housing plays a critical role in our efforts to prevent homelessness across the state. Projects like the Veterans Outreach Center at Liberty Landing couple affordable rents with supportive services and connections to employment opportunities – all of which can help bring stability to the lives of veterans who have experienced homelessness. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State continues to provide new opportunities for those who have served our country and invest in real solutions to address the issue of homelessness in our communities.”

Senator Joseph Robach said, “I am excited to be joining the Veterans Outreach Center and my government partners as we celebrate this innovative partnership that is the VOC Liberty Landing. Our veterans have given so much to our country and community, this project will help to ensure that they have a safe, affordable place to live after their time in service is over. I cannot wait to be back for the grand opening and look forward to seeing the completed project.”

Assemblymember David Gantt said, “I am pleased to celebrate the groundbreaking for VOC Liberty Landing which will bring 33 much-needed affordable apartments to Rochester. It is vital that we create affordable housing that meets the unique needs of our veterans and we are grateful to have the Veterans Outreach Center in our community. Thank you to all of our State, local and private partners for making this project possible.” 

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson said, “Our veterans have been there for us, and our community must always be there for our veterans. Liberty Landing will create the affordable and accessible housing we need to prevent homelessness and provide a quality of life for those who have served our country. I applaud the Veterans Outreach Center for all the work they do on behalf of our veteran community as well as New York State Homes and Community Renewal for their partnership in this important project.” 

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, “Whether it’s assistance with filing VA claims, employment, peer support or housing, Monroe County stands ready to support our veterans along outstanding partners like the VOC. We are proud to work hand-in-hand with VOC in caring for the veterans who will reside at Liberty Landing and we look forward to the completion of this incredible project.”

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, “VOC Liberty Landing gives us a foundation to ensure our veterans who have dedicated so much to this nation have the resources they need to thrive in our community. I am proud of the support the City of Rochester has brought to this project. I want to thank Conifer Realty and the Veterans Outreach Center for coming together to bring VOC Liberty Landing to our city. And I want to thank all the agencies who are supporting this project including New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.” 

Veterans Outreach Center Executive Director Laura Stradley said, “I’m excited to be breaking ground on this wonderful project with the support of New York State and Conifer, LLC. VOC Liberty Landing will be a wonderful asset to the veteran community and fills a crucial void by offering an attractive and affordable housing solution to veterans and their families. The on-site supportive services will be a unique opportunity for those who need to utilize the wide range of services that we offer at VOC. We are fortunate to have had such wonderful visionaries to bring this project to fruition, and one that ties ties-in directly with our mission to serve veterans with compassion and advocate for all who have worn our nations uniform so they can ‘rise’ and live life to the fullest.”

Conifer Chairman and CEO Timothy D. Fournier said, “It has been our pleasure to work in partnership with the Veterans Outreach Center for the last five years to fulfill a need to provide safe, decent, affordable housing for our veterans. We believe our values are aligned and together are committed to providing ‘A Home for Possibilities’ here at Liberty Landing, making a positive impact on people’s lives every day.” 

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.