Thanks to an unexpected gift of funding from the federal government, Providence Housing Development Corp. is considering building a second senior-apartment project in Irondequoit, in addition to the one originally planned on the grounds of St. Salome Parish.
Providence, a diocesan affiliate that builds affordable housing for people of all denominations, has been working since 2004 to secure funding for the St. Salome project, said Monica McCullough, executive director. The agency plans to begin construction and demolition at St. Salome in March, she added.
To make sure that enough funding was secured for the St. Salome project, Providence applied to both New York’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Both agencies came through with funding, which will allow Providence to build a second phase of the project on a different site, McCullough explained.
“This second phase has been a gift,” she remarked.
The HUD funding of $3.8 million will be used to build an apartment complex with 33 one-bedroom units for seniors ages 62 and older. The money will be provided from HUD’s Section 202 program, which helps expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly. Providence officials hope to locate the HUD-funded project on the grounds of Christ the King Parish, McCullough said, noting that the agency is working on a proposal to purchase parish property.
Basilian Father Norman Tanck, Christ the King’s pastor, said the parish, pastoral and finance councils as well as staff at Christ the King School have initially been open to the idea of adding to the church campus.
Although Providence has not yet proposed a project location, the parish may potentially lose some of its soccer-field space to make way for the apartments, Father Tanck said. He also noted that once Providence develops a project proposal parishioners will be able to weigh in on it.
McCullough said having funding already secured will allow Providence to build more quickly and to factor into the project engineering and architectural efficiencies. If all goes well, she said construction could begin by year’s end.
“It is very unique to have the money before we have the project design,” McCullough remarked.
Rents on the Christ the King project may be able to be a bit lower than those on the St. Salome project, she said, and Providence will have the ability to refer seniors on a fixed income to the HUD-funded project. To qualify, a household’s income must be less than 50 percent of the area median.
Demand is very high for affordable housing for seniors, McCullough observed, noting that more than 160 people were recently on an interest list for the St. Salome project.