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Amherst Town Board delays action on PILOT extensions for two senior citizen housing developments

The Amherst Town Board on Monday delayed taking action on requests to extend PILOT agreements for two housing developments that provide affordable units for low-income senior citizens.

The owners of the two-story, 105-unit Hopkins Court, 2250 Hopkins Road, and the four-story, 101-unit St. Mary’s Commons Apartments, 400 Mill St., Williamsville, said the extension of those PILOT agreements, or payment in lieu of taxes, is vital to continue offering apartments to senior citizens that are well below market rate. A one-bedroom unit rents for $658 a month, while a two-bedroom goes for $783 a month.

“These rents are well below other senior rentals in the town. We’re obligated to keep the rents at an affordable level for 30 years,” said Thomas G. Granville, a principal in CRS Properties, which owns both apartment complexes.

“In order for developers with Erie County properties to compete at the New York State level funding competition, both Erie County and the Town of Amherst adopted a PILOT policy back in the 1990s. We’re requesting an extension of the 15-year PILOT for an additional 15 years so that the term of the PILOT will match the affordability of the apartments.”

Tenants are charged a rate based on 30 percent of the median income in the town. After questioning by Councilman Steven D. Sanders during a public hearing on the owner’s request, an attorney for CRS acknowledged that the PILOT extension would not be imperiled if action were delayed until the board’s next regular meeting March 8. The apartment owners will seek additional approvals from the county and then come back to the town.

email: hmcneil@buffnews.com