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Governor Hochul Announces Progress Toward Transforming Buffalo’s Long-Vacant Commodore Perry Homes into Vibrant Affordable Housing Development

Apr 12, 2024


$254 Million, 27-Building Development Will Replace Vacant 24-Building Complex, Creating 405 New Affordable Apartments in Buffalo’s First Ward Neighborhood

Demolition of Former Development to Begin on Monday, April 15

Builds on Governor Hochul’s Commitment to Addressing the Housing Crisis by Unlocking Housing Potential Across New York State – Including in Western New York

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced progress toward redeveloping the Commodore Perry Homes in Buffalo’s First Ward neighborhood into a 27-building, all-electric housing development with 405 affordable homes. After closing on financing, the project is set to begin its first phase of construction – the demolition of the existing, long-vacant, 24-building development – on Monday, April 15.

“Today, we are taking the first steps towards a better and brighter future at the Perry Homes with the demolition of this blighted eyesore,” Governor Hochul said. “Working with Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo, we are seizing the momentum of progress felt all around this City and transforming the Commodore Perry Homes into a vibrant community that will provide a safe, stable and affordable place to live for residents and families.”

In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved over 12,000 affordable homes in Erie County. Commodore Perry Homes continues this effort and is part of Governor Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.

Perry Homes I is the first phase of a multi-phase redevelopment of the existing Commodore Perry Homes public housing complex and involves the redevelopment of an 18-acre portion of the existing public housing complex site. The first phase of construction of the new Commodore Perry Homes is the demolition of 24 derelict and vacant structures that have been boarded up for a decade. The demolished buildings will be replaced with 27 buildings that include three mid-rise, mixed-use buildings with 8,000 square feet of commercial space, and 24 two and three-story townhouse-style apartment buildings. 

When complete, the new Perry Homes will include 405 apartments ranging from one to five bedrooms, all of which will be affordable to households whose incomes are at or below 60 percent of the Area Median IncomeOf the total units, 284 will be covered under a Section 8 Project-Based Housing Assistance Payment contract administered by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.

Building amenities will include fitness centers, free broadband WiFi, a property management office, and on-site laundry. Surface parking will be provided throughout the site for residential tenant use, commercial units visitors and for the staff of the on-site management office.

Perry Homes I is designed to be a highly efficient, all-electric project meeting Enterprise Green Communities 2020 Plus certification requirements and the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home Version 1 program. As part of New York State’s Homes and Community Renewal Clean Energy Initiative the new buildings will have high performance windows, enhanced insulation, a combination of high efficiency building mounted LED lighting to promote safety, and solar panels on each of the three mid-rise buildings. Every apartment will be equipped with inverter-driven air source heat pumps for air conditioning and heating and electric hot water heaters, ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, low-flow plumbing fixtures.

The site is in the Perry neighborhood in south Buffalo and residents will have easy access to the New York Thruway via I-190 at Louisiana Street and Perry Street. Bus access, which is available along South Park Avenue, provides quick access to downtown and places of employment. There are numerous shopping destinations and healthcare facilities nearby, as well as adult and childcare, a public library, and a community center.

The development team is Pennrose Holdings, LLC and Bridges Development, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. The Perry Homes redevelopment will use the Federal Housing and Urban Development RAD program to convert the vacant public housing units to Project-Based Section 8 supported homes.

Financing for the $254 million development includes $21.9 million in tax-exempt bonds, $115.7 million in State and Federal Low Income Tax Credits, and $83.1 million in subsidy from HCR. Empire State Development provided $5 million in Restore New York funding. Additional funds include: $6 million in BMHA Capital Funds; $1.1 million in Buffalo Community Development Block Grants; $5 million in RAD Rehab Assistance Payments; and $1.6 million in Federal tax credits.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Rebuilding the Commodore Perry Homes is an opportunity to breathe new life into a long-vacant public housing complex and provide the types of affordable, modern, secure homes that residents need to thrive. This $254 million investment will bring more than 400 new apartments to Buffalo’s First Ward neighborhood, and furthers our commitment to the people of this city and our larger goal of increasing housing supply and creating new opportunities for future generations. To Governor Hochul, our partners Pennrose and Bridges, the BMHA, and the city of Buffalo — thank you for making this project possible!” 

State Senator Tim Kennedy said, “The demolition of these desolate, abandoned buildings within the Perry Homes complex paves the way for new housing and business opportunities within Buffalo's Old First Ward, and breathes new life into a stretch of the neighborhood that has sat deserted for a decade. "This project underscores Governor Hochul's commitment to expand New York's housing stock, and is a true demonstration of federal, state, and city leaders working together to enhance the quality of life for the people who call this community home.”

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “Congratulations to Pennrose Holdings, Bridges, BMHA and its residents on the upcoming demolition of the Old First Ward's vacant Perry Homes. This has been a long time coming as this complex of 24 buildings have been a vacant eyesore and public safety concern for more than a decade. This exciting transformational project will breathe new life and activity into a growing section of downtown Buffalo with 400 affordable units. Thank you Governor Hochul and HCR for turning BMHA's and the community's collective vision into a reality.”

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “It is wonderful to see this demolition project moving forward. I am proud of my administration's work with the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) to remove this blight. The construction of the new Commodore Perry Homes is just one of several affordable and market rate housing initiatives that have been completed or are currently underway in the city of Buffalo. All of this progress is the direct result of my overall strategic plan to improve our housing stock and the quality of life of our residents. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her continued support and investment in this work in our City.”

Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader, Ellicott District Council Woman Leah M. Halton-Pope said, “The initiation of the demolition phase for the vacant Perry Project homes represents a crucial milestone in the physical revitalization of the Commodore Perry Redevelopment project. This project underscores the collaborative efforts and vision to move forward with a project that is aimed at fostering economic growth and community development and I want to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her support, commitment, and leadership in the redevelopment of the Perry Project homes.”

The transformation of the Commodore Perry Homes builds on Governor Hochul’s commitment to addressing New York’s housing crisis by unlocking its housing potential – including in Western New York. The Governor recently announced the completed $57 million renovation of McCarley Gardens Apartments, an affordable housing development in East Buffalo, which has helped to preserve affordable rents for 149 households. The Governor has also announced millions of dollars in affordable housing financing to support new construction in Western New York, including $7.6 million for the 73-unit Playter Gardens at The Market in the city of Buffalo; $13.9 million for the 65-unit Juniper Apartments in Hamburg; $2.5 million for the 20-unit Thankful Gardens in the City of Buffalo; $6.9 million for the 54-unit Silver Creek Senior Housing in Silver Creek; and $7.2 million for the 73-unit development, The Nest, in Niagara Falls.