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Four projects get $1.25 million in housing grants

The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York has awarded $1.25 million in affordable housing grants to HSBC Bank USA, M&T Bank Corp., and their partners on four local projects.

The government-chartered wholesale bank gave $562,500 to HSBC and DePaul Properties for the Seneca Street Special Needs Single-Room Occupancy project, which will construct a 75-unit apartment building on land that now has a vacant building and a parking lot.

The apartments, which will be handicapped-accessible, are targeted for physically disabled residents, including veterans and homeless people diagnosed with mental illness.
The bank also gave M&T and the Center City Neighborhood Development Corp. $584,000 to buy and rehabilitate the 71-unit Colt Block Apartment complex in Niagara Falls. Colt Block was originally built in 1973 under the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 8 program and has five buildings with three studio, 60 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments. Three are handicapped-adaptable.

The complex is already occupied by low-income individuals and families, and the work, which will not uproot them, is designed to keep the complex as affordable housing for at least 30 more years.

HSBC and Heritage Christian Services received $33,200 for their Keller Road project in Clarence. The partners will buy and rehabilitate a home to create a long-term supportive living facility, with 24-hour supervision, for four very low-income, developmentally disabled adults. The site was chosen because it's near community services that are needed.

Finally, M&T and Habitat for Humanity of Buffalo will get $73,000 for a Habitat home ownership project that will allow 10 very low-income Buffalo families to buy homes and stabilize neighborhoods. Ten currently abandoned homes will be rehabilitated, with prospective owners contributing "sweat equity" in addition to undergoing home ownership counseling.

The subsidy from Federal Home Loan Bank will be used to "buy down" the mortgages to ensure they're affordable. Construction financing and the rest of the purchase price will be provided by Habitat, with terms that ensure the homeowner will not pay more than 20 percent of their household income.

The $90 billion-asset home loan bank is part of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, a network of 12 stockholder-owned wholesale banks established by Congress to support housing and local community development. Owned by its members, the New York bank serves 291 community lenders in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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