Lifetime Assistance and Cornerstone Group hold ribbon cutting for Frances Apartments

November 07, 2017 - Upstate New York

Sweden, NY Lifetime Assistance, Inc., Cornerstone Group, and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) officially opened Frances Apartments with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour. The 56-unit, eight-building independent inclusive housing development, which is fully occupied, was created for low to moderate income families and individuals with developmental disabilities. The ceremony marks the completion of the project, which was started a year ago, and complements Finger Lakes Forward, the region’s comprehensive blueprint for economic development.

Frances Apartments consists of seven two-story apartment buildings, each containing eight apartment units for a total of 56 apartment units. There are one-, two- and three-bedroom buildings. The project qualifies as Workforce Housing with 57% of the total units being two- and three-bedroom floor plans. The gross building square footage is 55,986 s/f including a 2,490 s/f community building which was constructed as the 8th building. 

The 56 units are comprised of a mix of 24 one-bedroom units, 16 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom units. The one-bedroom units are 697–744 s/f, two-bedroom units are 902–950 s/f, and three-bedroom units are 1,147–1,194 s/f. There is no superintendent or manager unit.

The community building features a manager’s office, service provider’s office, vestibule and corridor, computer room with three landlord-provided computers for tenant use, common laundry room with Energy Star washers and dryers, bathrooms, mechanical rooms, maintenance shop, and community room with refrigerator, double sink, and a door that leads out to a rear patio. All buildings have Energy Star rated central air conditioning, heating with sealed combustion chambers, lighting, fans and appliances. Tenants pay their own gas heat, hot water and electric including air conditioning usage.

The residential buildings are two-story design, wood construction with vinyl siding and asphalt roof. Residential units are designed for independent living.

Units feature kitchens, breakfast bar in three-bedroom units, living room, master bedroom with walk-in closet, second bedroom in 16 units and third bedroom in 16 units, bathrooms with bathtub or roll-in showers for ADA units (an additional half bathroom in three-bedroom units), vanities, toilets, bathroom linen closet, hall closet, storage, and pre-wiring for telephone, cable and broadband internet service. Discounted cable and internet service are provided. Safety measures include the building being fully sprinklered, smoke/heat/carbon monoxide detectors in each apartment unit, and private unit entry door with viewer at street level.

Cornerstone Grouppresident Roger Brandt, said, “We are proud to be part of the Frances Apartments project. This creative affordable housing model is a wonderful collaboration among several State agencies. We look forward to continuing to work with the residents and Lifetime Assistance to foster an inclusive and welcoming housing community. We feel that Frances Barrier Williams would be very pleased with the new development that bears her name.”

“Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony for Frances Apartments shines a light on an affordable housing option for individuals with developmental disabilities who want to remain active and independent in our community,” said County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “I am thankful to Lifetime Assistance, Inc. for investing in Monroe County and ensuring that it remains an inviting place to live and work.”

“We’re proud to be part of a partnership that’s bringing safe, affordable and supportive housing to the community,” said Tom McGrath, Senior Vice President & Director of Upstate Revitalization at the Community Preservation Corporation. “Frances Apartments speaks to what can be accomplished when you invest with a mission and have partners that are dedicated to providing housing that serves those most in need. My thanks to Rochester’s Cornerstone Group and Lifetime Assistance for their vision and commitment to the community, and to HCR, and OPWDD for their support of this project.”

Town of Sweden Deputy Supervisor, Robert Muesebeck, thanked the residents for choosing to live in the Town of Sweden. “We’re thrilled to have this project in our Town. Sweden is a wonderful community in which to live and work. We hope the residents take advantage of everything the Town has to offer - a tremendous Community Center for people of all ages, and a Town Park that is second to none.”

“HUD’s funding is a crucial and flexible source of funding to build affordable housing targeted towards Monroe County’s vulnerable residents” said Joan Spilman, Director of HUD’s Buffalo Field Office. “The 56 units we celebrated in Sweden today will give hardworking families and people with disabilities the stable foundation they need to pursue opportunity.” 

“The Frances Apartments project meets a critical need in the Greater Rochester community and Citizens’ support is a sign of our strong commitment to affordable housing,” said Paul Taffe, president of Citizens Bank, New York. “Citizens seeks out financial partnerships on projects that strengthen communities in Citizens’ footprint and, for us, this development is a great example of what Citizens strives to do – help our clients and our communities reach their full potential.”

Brockport native Frances Barrier Williams (1855-1944), was a historic champion of civil rights and inclusion and the first African American to graduate from SUNY College at Brockport, Ms. Frances Barrier Williams is recognized for her work as a suffragist and a major figure in the development of the NAACP in 1912. 

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