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Redevelopment of Yates Village gets $9.3 million from state

The Daily Gazette May 10, 2018

Yates Village may soon be getting an extensive overhaul the Schenectady Housing Authority has been seeking. It was announced on Thursday that the housing authority would receive $9.3 million from the state for the project.

According to a press release, the money would go toward the first phase of redeveloping the 296-unit, low-income housing project, which is expected to cost around $24 million.

The first phase of the redevelopment project will include “substantial rehabilitation” of 25 of the units in the housing project and the demolition and construction of eight buildings that contain a total of 89 apartments. It will also include the construction of a 12,000-square-foot community service facility that will accomodate three non-profit organizations.

The apartment units will be converted into town homes and garden apartments.

An extensive rehabilitation of the housing project was proposed last year by Schenectady Housing Authority Executive Director Rich Homenick, but it lacked funding.

Yates Village, built in 1948, is one of seven properties managed by the housing authority. It's considered one of the largest housing projects in the city. It’s situated in the north side on the edge of the city. It houses around 720 residents, according to Homenick.

Ray Gillen, chairman of the Metroplex Development Authority, said Pennrose will be part of the project for the long haul. Pennrose's involvement will allow the property to be put on the tax rolls for the first time, Gillen said.

Gillen said he has been working with the housing authority and Pennrose to develop a payment in lieu of taxes plan that they will present to the city Industrial Development Agency.

This will mean, though, the housing complex will no longer be publicly subsidized.

So, if Yates Village residents want to return to the housing complex, they will be given assistance through the federal Section 8 program, which is based vouchers, Homenick said.

“Anybody who lives there now that wants to return will have that option,” Homenick said. “Some people might refuse because they live somewhere where they are happy and might not want to come back. But some will.”

Once everything is finalized with the first phase of the project, Homenick said they will work with Pennrose to begin finding financing for the second phase.

Homenick said because of the scope of the whole project, he believes it may take four phases to complete.

Mayor Gary McCarthy said he was “very pleased” with the news about the award.

“I spent 10 years as a commissioner on the Schenectady Housing Authority Board,” McCarthy said. “So, I’m interested in what happens there and want to make sure we’re providing safe and decent housing to all residents of the community.”'

Homenick said he hopes construction on the first phase of the project begins in early 2019.

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