FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2005
Schumer Lobbies HUD To Reconsider Housing Waiver For Niagara Falls Unity Park II
Unity II Housing Project In Niagara Falls Initially Denied Funding Package For Demolition and Rebuilding
With Tax Credits Slated To Expire on Monday, Schumer Calls HUD Deputy Housing Secretary Roy Bernardi To Approve Project
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today personally lobbied Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi to approve an application from Unity Park II housing project in Niagara Falls, a federally subsidized housing project in desperate need of rebuilding. The tax-credits funding this project expire on Monday, October 31, so if this project is not approved by then, federal funding will be difficult to achieve.
“This project is a vital part of the revitalization of Niagara Falls,” Schumer said. “An increase in housing and enhancement of the neighborhood will lead to greater investment by developers and entrepreneurs. Families must not only have a safe and affordable place to live, but also place worthy of living.”
Unity Park II was a federally-subsidized housing project consisting of 198 units located in Niagara Falls. As of the summer of 2004, there were no longer any occupants of this housing complex; the last families to leave the property were temporarily moved to a nearby separate federally-subsidized housing complex called Unity Park I. Unity Park II project is replacing a dilapidated, uninhabitable building wrought with crime which primarily consisted of studio and small one-bedroom apartments with 40 new large five-bedroom town houses complete with porches and lawns.
The Unity Park II project is being primarily funded through low-income tax credits and private development money, both of which have been secured, but federal funds are necessary to complete the project. In 2003, Empire State Development Corporation selected Norstar Development to raze the 198 units and replace them with 40 multi-family units.