NIAGARA FALLS - Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday presided at the dedication of the $12.2 million Walnut Avenue Homes project, developed and operated by Housing Visions. That Syracuse-based not-for-profit organization operates a similar housing project along Genesee and Locust streets in Lockport.
The new 41-unit housing project near downtown Niagara Falls was financed almost entirely with state and federal grants and tax credits.
Housing Visions demolished vacant structures on Walnut between Fifth and Seventh streets and erected seven new buildings containing 32 apartments. It also reused a former Niagara Falls Board of Education building at Walnut Avenue and Sixth Street into nine more apartments. City voters approved the sale of the school property in a December 2013 referendum.
Housing Visions and the YWCA of Niagara are working together to reserve 13 apartments for formerly homeless women and their children, according to a spokesman for New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
Funding for the project from Homes and Community Renewal included $6.9 million of tax credit equity, leveraged from $727,055 in low-income housing tax credits; $1.1 million from the State Housing Trust Fund and $1,037,066 from the State HOME program.
Other subsidies included $1.67 million from the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program; $577,000 of federal historic tax credits and $364,408 of state historic tax credits, offered through the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant; and $102,500 from the state Energy Development and Research Authority.