04.05.17

SCHUMER URGES HUD TO GRANT 6-MONTH EXTENSION SO GENEVA HOUSING AUTHORITY CAN RENOVATE UNITS & PROVIDE DESPERATELY NEEDED HOUSING FOR SENIORS & LOW INCOME FAMILIES

Without Extension, GHA Could Lose Out On Needed Funding To Renovate Buildings for Seniors & Low-Income Residents 

Schumer: With Over $18M in New Investment Planned for Geneva, Cut Through The Red Tape.

Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to review and approve the City of Geneva Housing Authority’s (GHA) 6-month extension needed to sure up financing in order to make renovations to public housing properties. In a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Schumer said the extension is necessary as GHA waits to find out what funding will be allocated in the New York State budget for public housing, as well as giving them time to apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The housing authority has been working on plans for two properties in Geneva, Elmcrest and Courtyard Apartments, that are in dire need of repair and are now home to seniors and low-income residents.

“The Geneva Housing Authority provides safe and affordable housing for those who most need it and they need help, not hindrance, from HUD to fulfill their mission. HUD needs to do its job, cut through the bureaucratic red tape, and give them the time they need,” said Senator Schumer. “The work GHA does is crucial to ensuring people in need throughout Geneva have affordable housing options. The extension GHA needs will allow them to deliver on promises they made and I will do everything I can to push HUD to approve it.”

Senator Schumer explained that the housing authority has invested over $120,000 to apply for the RAD program, which would allow for private financing that will go towards over an estimated $18 million capital improvements project. Improvements range from taking care of asbestos in buildings to underground infrastructure needs.  Elmcrest, built in 1970 provides 85 housing units for seniors living on limited incomes and now requires $8.5 million in needed capital improvement repairs and upgrades while the Courtyard Apartments built in 1960 provides 124 affordable units for families requires an estimated $10 million in improvements. 

The Geneva Housing Authority previously received HUD approval to participate in HUD’s Rental Assistance Program (RAD), which enables public housing agencies to secure private sources of capital financing to fund needed upgrade and capital improvements to properties in order to address deferred maintenance issues within the nation’s affordable housing stock.  The GHA is pursuing a plan to secure the over $18 million in private investment but requires additional time to pursue the investment.

Geneva Housing Authority CEO Andrew Tyman said, “We appreciate Senator Schumer’s support for our extension request to give us the ability to secure private investment to upgrade these properties through the HUD RAD program.  This opportunity is critical to greatly improve these properties’ physical conditions and long-term viability while most importantly providing a better quality of life for the residents we serve.”  

Senator Schumer praised  GHA for its commitment to providing a quality and healthy living environment to seniors and low-income families that rely on the properties the housing authority runs.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to Secretary Carson is below:

Dear Secretary Carson:

I write in support of Geneva Housing Authority’s (GHA) request to appeal the 30-day deadline on submitting a RAD Financing Plan. I urge you to review and approve the 6-month extension requested by Geneva Housing Authority in the letter sent to the Department of Housing and Urban Development on March 27th, 2016.

The Geneva Housing Authority is responsible for 248 public housing units in Geneva, New York, and is in desperate need of additional funding to maintain these units.  The housing authority has invested over $120,000 in preparation to apply for the RAD program, which would allow for private financing of much needed capital improvements to GHA’s properties. In Geneva, the housing authority has been developing conversion plans for two properties, Elmcrest and Courtyard Apartments, that have been in existence for over four decades. The housing authority will be able to use these dollars to cater to pressing issues, such as asbestos cleanup and underground infrastructure needs. Additionally, the funding that will be available through participation in the RAD program will allow GHA to meet the millions needed in renovations.  These improvements are essential to providing a quality and healthy living environment to both seniors and low-income families that call these complexes home. By HUD granting this extension, GHA will have a clear pathway to provide the living standards that have been promised and are vital to the lives of residents.

After a request from HFA staff, GHA is working diligently to redesign financing plans to be cost effective. Currently GHA is waiting on the release of the 2017-2018 New York State budget, which will include funding for public housing. Additionally, the requested extension would allow the housing authority enough time to apply for the Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Once this information is available, GHA will be able to resubmit a financing plan to HFA.

As is evident from continuous communication, the Geneva Housing Authority is committed to ensuring that the proper documentation is completed in a timely manner. With the  HUD imposed deadline rapidly approaching, it is critical that GHA obtain an extension to complete this portion of the RAD transaction. Therefore, I urge HUD to review and approve GHA’s request for a 6- month extension. Thank you for your consideration of this request and your immediate attention to this matter. Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

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