Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Announces Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground in Auburn


S.E. Payne Cornerstone Apartments awarded $3.1 million from CNYREDC to increase affordable housing opportunities and revitalize Auburn by generating more than $10 million in local economic activity.

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council (CNYREDC) today joined with Housing Visions and local representatives for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the official start of construction of S.E. Payne Cornerstone Apartments in the City of Auburn. The project is moving forward on the strength of $3.1 million in awards from Governor Andrew Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council initiative. S.E. Payne Cornerstone Apartments will provide 35 affordable housing opportunities for low and very-low income households and people with disabilities, while generating more than $10 million in local economic activity in Auburn by leveraging significant investments from the City of Auburn, Housing Visions Consultants, Inc., and the Allyn Foundation.

“Quality, affordable, and accessible housing is absolutely vital to the long-term success of our Upstate cities,” said Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor, co-chair of the CNYREDC. “Thriving city neighborhoods are the lifeblood of vibrant communities, and this construction project represents a critical investment in both the economic fortunes of the City of Auburn and in the well-being of its citizens for years to come.”

“S.E. Payne Cornerstone will provide a mix of rehabilitated and new housing that will address a critical need for safe, affordable homes for families and revitalize the Orchard Street neighborhood,” said Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. “This is yet another example of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative at work-strengthening local economies and communities. S.E. Payne Cornerstone will inject millions of dollars into the Auburn economy, and I congratulate Mayor Quill and our partners at Housing Visions for coming together to make this smart, forward-thinking investment.”

New affordable development in the City of Auburn has been minimal over the past decade. Housing Visions’ development of S.E. Payne Cornerstone will act as a catalyst for bringing new life and energy to the Orchard Street area, and enable the City of Auburn to focus on other neighborhood upgrades like sidewalk installation and park improvements. This project includes the construction and substantial rehabilitation of 16 total buildings in order to provide 35 units of quality, affordable housing for low and moderate income families in Auburn.

Kenyon Craig, President of Housing Visions said, “S.E. Payne Cornerstone is a great example of the CNY Regional Economic Development Council following through on the goals set forth in their Five Year Strategic Plan. S.E. Payne Cornerstone adheres to the principles of Smart Growth and will further the revitalization efforts already undertaken by the City of Auburn and other partners in the Orchard Street neighborhood. Housing Visions is proud to work with the City of Auburn to deliver well-designed, high-quality, affordable rental housing.”

S.E. Payne Cornerstone will meet Green Building and Energy Efficiency standards and revitalize blighted, deteriorated buildings. The development will include community space, a laundry facility, computer lab, and community kitchen, as well as off-street parking and green space. Rent plus utilities will range from $473 to $870 per month and will be affordable for households at or below 60% of area median income.

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. As part of that process, Housing Visions Consultants, Inc. was awarded more than $700,000 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits from HCR, which will generate $6.9 million in equity, as well as $2.3 million in financing through HCR’s Housing Trust Fund.

Auburn Mayor Mike Quill said, “Orchard Street has always been a terrific neighborhood, and with the financial commitment of more than $10 million in both public and private funding, it will only continue to improve. We are grateful to all of our partners for their interest in Auburn and work to develop more housing options for those in need.”

Senator Michael Nozzolio said, “This important project will provide much needed affordable housing in the City of Auburn, while at the same time creating millions of dollars of economic activity in the City and the surrounding communities. The construction of S.E. Payne Cornerstone Apartments is tremendous news for the City of Auburn and Cayuga County and demonstrates that our partnership with Governor Cuomo to promote affordable housing options in the Finger Lakes region is working.”

Assemblyman Gary Finch said, “This project addresses the call for safe and affordable housing in the City of Auburn and Cayuga County. Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Initiative will revitalize the Orchard Street Neighborhood and provide economic stimulus to the area.”

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) consists of all the State’s major housing and community renewal agencies, including the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others.

About Housing Visions

Founded in 1990, Housing Visions is a Community-based 501 (c)(3), not-for-profit organization revitalizing and sustaining neighborhoods through a comprehensive approach that improves quality of life. They offer managed affordable housing in 7 cities in NYS. Additional information may be found at http://www.housingvisions.org/.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit http://www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov/.