S E Payne Cornerstone
Location: Auburn, New York
Project Cost: $10.3 million
Completion: September 2014
Target Population: Low- to Very Low-Income Households
Amenities: Community gathering space; computer lab; off-street parking; washer/dryer hookups; green space
Partners: The NYS Division of Homes & Community Renewal; City of Auburn; New York State Regional Economic Development Council; The Allyn Foundation
The S.E. Payne Cornerstone project is an innovative neighborhood revitalization development that responds to the critical need for quality affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families in the City of Auburn. The development continued the revitalization of the Orchard Street Neighborhood Area initiated by the City of Auburn, Home HeadQuarters, Inc., and the Allyn Foundation.
The fruits of this work are mostly on Orchard Street in Auburn. Coming from Genesee Street, visitors are welcomed by the large, revitalized brick building on James Street that once belonged to the namesake of the S.E. Payne Cornerstone Project in the 1800s, former congressman Sereno E. Payne.
From there, the new buildings stand as testaments to efforts not only in providing homes for those in need, but to revive a neighborhood culture that has experienced symptoms of poverty and property disinvestment over multiple decades.
It was a multimillion dollar intervention sparked in part by years of outreach by the Orchard Street Neighborhood Association on behalf of their beloved community.