Governor Cuomo Announces Preservation of Two Affordable Housing Developments in Rochester

OCTOBER 22, 2019 Albany, NY

Rehabilitation of Southeast Towers and E.L. Tower Will Protect and Upgrade Affordable Housing for 529 Families

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

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the preservation of two affordable housing developments in Rochester – the start of a $118 million rehabilitation of Southeast Towers and the completion of a $25 million rehabilitation of E.L. Tower. Rehabilitation work on the two developments will upgrade and modernize 529 homes while protecting affordability of these units for years to come.

“These two developments are part of our ongoing efforts to preserve and increase affordable housing opportunities for New York’s families,” Governor Cuomo said. “Together, the rehabilitation of Southeast Towers and E.L. Tower will support the continued revitalization of downtown Rochester and build upon our efforts to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

“The rehabilitation of two affordable housing developments in Rochester builds on our statewide investment in affordable and supportive housing,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The renovation of Southeast Towers and E.L. Tower adds over 500 modernized homes that are affordable, high-quality housing options for residents. We are committed to transforming the lives of all New Yorkers with expanded access to housing and strengthening neighborhoods for the future in the Finger Lakes and across the state.”

The Governor’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. The State’s investment in Southeast Towers and E.L. Tower complements the Finger Lakes Forward initiative by preserving affordable housing for families. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has financed the creation or preservation of nearly 6,700 affordable multifamily homes in the Finger Lakes Region including more than 2,400 in Rochester.

Southeast Towers

Southeast Towers was originally built in 1974 and consists of a 17-story building with 250 apartments at 436 East Broad Street and an eight-story building with 126 apartments at 16 Savannah Street. As part of the redevelopment project, an additional 40 obsolete townhomes on Savannah Street will be demolished and rebuilt in later phases. The developer is Conifer Realty, LLC.

All apartments will be affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income, and 267 apartments will be covered under a Project Based Rental Assistance Housing Assistance Payment contract under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s RAD2 program.

Interior renovations to Southeast Towers will include replacement of kitchen cabinets, counters, plumbing and lighting fixtures in all apartments; door replacement; repair or replacement of plaster finishes including abatement of asbestos-containing and lead paint-containing finishes; new electric baseboard radiation and wall AC units; new lighting and security cameras in common areas; upgrade to elevator systems; and replacement of hot water systems. Exterior renovations include roof and window replacement, new entrance awnings, concrete repair and cleaning and new site amenities landscaping.

Southeast Towers is part of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion House NY initiative to rehabilitate a portfolio of 35 aging state-financed Mitchell-Lama middle-income affordable developments that were transferred to HCR in 2013. Since Governor Cuomo took office, the state has made vigorous efforts to refinance, rehabilitate and preserve all remaining state-aided Mitchell-Lama projects as affordable housing. Since 2011, over 20,000 Mitchell-Lama apartments have been rehabilitated into safe, quality homes.

HCR provided $13.3 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $33.1 million in equity and an additional $31.5 million in subsidy. The City of Rochester is providing $1.4 million in HOME and Cash Capital funds. HCR refinanced approximately $30.7 million in existing debt.