Cheektowaga, NY Enterprise Housing Credit Investments (EHCI) joined CB-Emmanuel Realty LLC (CBE) and Delta Development (Delta) to celebrate a $15.2 million low-income housing tax credit (housing credit) deal to transform a wing of the historic former Catholic school Villa Maria Academy into Angela’s House, a six-floor building with 67 affordable senior (55+) apartments, including 21 units of supportive housing set aside for homeless seniors. M&T Bank was the housing credit investor. The property is located at 600 Doat St. in the Buffalo suburb, and all apartments will be reserved for seniors earning less than 60% of the area median income. CBE and Delta are co-developing Angela’s House, and Delta will serve as property manager.
The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) will provide subsidies for a full-time social worker and other on-site staffing, and Catholic Charities of Buffalo will provide referrals for a variety of resident services including physical and behavioral health services, money management education, independent living skills training, transportation and more to residents in the 21 supportive housing units. The property will be renovated to meet Enterprise Green Communities and NYSERDA Multifamily New Construction Program Tier 2 standards for sustainable and energy-efficient construction.
“CB-Emmanuel is excited to partner with Enterprise Housing Credit Investments, M&T Bank, Evans Bank, the Town of Cheektowaga, and our partners at Delta Development and Catholic Charities to provide much needed senior housing for the Town of Cheektowaga,” said Margarita Pajaro, vice president of development for CB-Emmanuel Realty. “We also want to thank the Felician Sisters of North America for entrusting our organization to bring our joint vision to fruition, thereby honoring the legacy of Sister Mary Angela Truszkowska for whom the project is named.”
The new apartments in the facility will include seven units that are fully accessible for mobility impairment and three that are accessible for hearing and vision impairment. The additions complement standard building features for seniors such as grab bars, low-reach shelving and cabinets, lever-style door handles, under-cabinet lighting, and zero-transition showers. The second floor will include a lobby, a large community room with a kitchen and office and meeting space for management and resident support, and the second through sixth floors will each include a laundry room. New on-site parking will be available as well.
“The senior population in Erie County has grown 26% in the past 10 years, and as rents rise in the area, it’s essential to create affordable homes that enable longtime residents to age in place,” said Scott Hoekman, president of EHCI. “The flexibility of the housing credit was the key to making Angela’s House a reality. We look forward to the impact it will have on this community over the long term, and we greatly appreciate M&T Bank’s investment in the housing credits for this development.”
Angela’s House is part of the Villa Maria Motherhouse Complex originally built in 1927 on the Villa Maria College campus. It contains three wings, two of which house the Motherhouse for the Felician Sisters of St. Francis and a chapel. The Complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Adjacent to the Motherhouse Complex is a Living Independently for Elders (“LIFE”) Center used to run the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (“PACE”) program in Cheektowaga. The federal PACE program is designed to provide medical and support services (including in-home) to the elderly to allow them to remain in their homes.
“Affordable housing is an integral component of vibrant communities. This project is a great example of how the combined efforts from HCR (New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal) and national, regional and local partners can come together to have a meaningful impact on our communities. Closed in 2006, the former Villa Maria Academy will find new life and purpose in providing quality, affordable and accessible housing for seniors across the region,” said Jim Lonergan, interim executive director of Delta Development. “We are thankful for the Felician Sisters of North America to give us the opportunity to carry on their legacy and tradition in one of their buildings, which for many generations gave so much to the community it served. Delta Development is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such great partners as Enterprise Housing Credit Investments, M&T Bank, Evans Bank, the Town of Cheektowaga, our codeveloper CB-Emmanuel, and Catholic Charities to provide much needed senior housing for the town of Cheektowaga.”
Additional financing for Angela’s House includes a $12.1M construction loan from Evans Bank; $3.6M in loan financing from the New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Program; and $3.4M in loan financing from the NY State Homes and Community Renewal Supportive Housing Opportunity Program. The project will also benefit from HOME funds from the Town of Cheektowaga and a NYSERDA energy efficiency subsidy.
The property was designed by Trautman Associates, and RP Oak Hill Building Company, Inc. will be the general contractor. Angela’s House is expected to be completed by June 2022.