Rochester, NY

Phase 2 Construction Begins on $38 Million Pueblo Nuevo Housing Development

J.M. Lesinski
A shot of downtown Rochester, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

Progress towards a vital infrastructure investment in Rochester, New York has reached stage two in a recent announcement from the governor’s office. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently revealed that Phase I of the initial $25 million investment of the Pueblo Nuevo development in Rochester's El Camino neighborhood, as part of New York state’s “Finger Lakes Forward” Revitalization Initiative and $20 Billion Five-Year State Housing Plan, has wrapped up and the $13 million investment Phase II is beginning.

"Every New Yorker deserves access to safe, affordable housing and the stability that foundation provides towards pursuing a stable and prosperous future," Hochul stated of the announcement. "My administration is fully committed to working to end housing insecurity in New York and the completion of this initial phase of Pueblo Neuvo is the latest example of these efforts. We will continue to make these types of strategic investments that not only ensure New Yorkers have a reliable place to call home, but that also help grow vibrant communities throughout the state."

A total of sixteen residential buildings are newly constructed, including a sixteen-apartment multifamily building on Sullivan Street, thirteen three-family homes, a two-family home on Hoeltzer Street, and an eighteen-apartment multifamily building on Clifford Avenue. All buildings will have efficiency lighting, heating, and cooling systems, as well as low flow plumbing fixtures and appliances.

"Safe, quality and affordable housing is a fundamental human right and providing homes to as many people as possible has been a hallmark of my time serving our community,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren stated of the announcement. “Pueblo Nuevo will give our citizens a source of stability and the foundation for success. I am thankful for the city's ongoing partnership with our local leaders and community stakeholders to invest in Northeast Rochester."

In total, seventy-one of the apartments will be made available to households that are currently earning up to sixty percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less, while the four units that remain are to be reserved for households earning up to 80 percent of the AMI.

"I am grateful to see a clear investment towards improving living conditions for members of our community,” said New York State Assemblymember Demond Meeks. “We cannot expect to begin uplifting disenfranchised members of our community without providing sustainable homes. Safe, clean, and affordable housing is a basic necessity that too many community members and families continue to be denied. A dignified home is essential for building generational wealth and escaping the cycle of poverty. I want to thank the Ibero-American Development Corporation for their commitment to our neighborhoods and the welfare of our families. I hope that Pueblo Nuevo will continue to deliver effective resources and dependable homes for the most vulnerable residents of our community."

In addition, eight households are expected to have project-based Section 8 vouchers from the Rochester Housing Authority, while nineteen dwellings are set aside specifically for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who will also have direct contact to support services delivered by the Ibero-American Action League.

"Projects like Pueblo Nuevo provide the opportunity for integrated living, empowering people with developmental disabilities to be participating members of their communities,” New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Executive Deputy Commissioner Roger Bearden noted. “These 19 units, dedicated to the people OPWDD supports, will go a long way to achieving that goal while ensuring residents receive the services they need."

As Phase II begins, Pueblo Nuevo is expected to create twenty-nine new homes across the nineteen locations included in the project. Six of these new homes are to be reserved for those who were previously homeless and will offer supportive services access that has been funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and overseen by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

"Supportive housing helps families and individuals address the issues that may have contributed to them experiencing homelessness,” said Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn of the announcement. “This project will be transformative for the community, providing safe, affordable housing as well as easy access to services for residents of the Pueblo Nuevo Development."

Another feature of Phase II will be the conversion of a vacant warehouse at 200 Clifford Avenue into the El Camino Community Center (ECCC). In compliance with ADA standards, the ECCC will offer spaces for businesses, workshops, educational programs, entertainment, cultural programming, and other social and economic support services.

"The Pueblo Nuevo development is transforming El Camino by replacing and renovating run-down structures with modern apartments for individuals and families, while also building important new community spaces,” HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas remarked. “When both phases are complete, we will have created 104 affordable and energy-efficient homes, including 25 with supportive services, and a new park and community center. This is a holistic approach that will benefit all who call El Camino home. Thanks to our partnership with the Ibero-American Action League, we are expanding opportunities in Rochester and that keeps the Finger Lakes moving forward."

Phase II was provided $36,000 in support by NYSERDA and was awarded both state and federal low-income housing tax credits expected to generate approximately $9 million in equity and $3.5 million in subsidy from HCR. The Ibero-American Development Corporation, the development arm of the Ibero-American Action League, Inc., is the developer for both phases of the Pueblo Nuevo project.

"With the progress on the Pueblo Neuvo development, some of Rochester's most vulnerable residents will now have access to homes that provide high performance energy efficient technology and systems that offer increased comfort while reducing energy bills,” commented President and CEO of NYSERDA Doreen M. Harris of the announcement. “The project demonstrates that underutilized lots and dilapidated buildings and can be brought into a low carbon future to revitalize the communities they are located in, which supports the state's goals to reduce harmful emissions and bring the benefits of clean energy investments to all New Yorkers."

Additional investment in Phase I from the state included $1.2 million in HFA First Mortgage, $11.5 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credit equity and $6.2 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, $2.8 million from the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, and $56,400 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

"Pueblo Nuevo is key to the transformation of the El Camino neighborhood in northeast Rochester,” IADC's Executive Vice President Eugenio Marlin commented. “It takes advantage of a unique opportunity that will not only provide safe and affordable housing but, because of its proximity to the main business corridor, along Clinton Avenue, and to the International Plaza, it will be a catalyst to business development as it brings more families into the area. The project includes Pueblo Nuevo Community Park at O'Brien Street which will elevate the quality of life of the residents because of its amenities."

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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