Canandaigua, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrated the groundbreaking for Happiness House Apartments, a $9.7 million affordable and supportive housing development in Ontario County that will provide 30 affordable homes for families, seniors and individuals experiencing homelessness. The Happiness House Apartments, which is funded through the governor’s $20 billion, five-year plan to combat homelessness and create affordable housing, will consist of 22 apartments for individuals and families and eight apartments for seniors, with four of the senior apartments set aside for older New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.
“We have made an unprecedented commitment to addressing the housing and homelessness issues facing too many New Yorkers across the state, and this aggressive approach is creating affordable and supportive housing for thousands of families and seniors,” governor Cuomo said. “We have a responsibility to protect and support the most vulnerable people in our communities and new developments like the Happiness House Apartments will provide critical housing opportunities to those who need it most.”
This is the third phase of development on Happiness House Blvd., formerly known as County Rd. 30. Happiness House also developed and operates Happiness House Living Center I, a 20-home permanent housing development, and the Happiness House Transitional Apartments, an eight-unit transitional housing facility. Happiness House Apartments will be constructed on an adjacent parcel. Happiness House Apartments is located close to retailers, commercial services, a town park, restaurants and other amenities. There is a public transit bus stop on the property.
State financing for Happiness House Apartments includes federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate nearly $5.6 million in equity and $1.1 million in subsidy from HCR. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will provide $2 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. Additional financing will be provided by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, The Golisano Foundation and the Federal Home Loan Bank. The State’s investment in Happiness House Apartments also supports the Governor’s “Health Across All Policies and Age-Friendly State” Initiative by preserving affordable homes for seniors. The initiative is a collaborative approach that integrates health considerations into policymaking across all sectors to improve community health and wellness.
President and CEO of Happiness House Mary Boatfield said, “Happiness House Phase II will provide 30 affordable homes for families, seniors and individuals experiencing homelessness. The development of housing directly resulted from those we serve and their families expressing their growing need for safe, accessible apartments.”
The governor’s Housing and Homelessness Plan will ultimately create 100,000 units of affordable housing, which are financed and supported by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and 6,000 units of supportive housing through multiple State agencies. As of December 31, 2019, construction and preservation is completed or underway on more than 56,000 affordable housing units across the State, which is on schedule for the five-year plan. Additionally, 6,000 supportive units have been funded, over 4,000 of which are part of the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.
The Happiness House Apartments will provide on-site supportive social services for residents including counseling and recovery services for those with a history of substance abuse; individual and group support for older residents fostering memory skills; mobility and social support with an underlying focus on health and wellness; and adult day care, grief counseling and meal delivery services for qualified tenants. Nine households will receive rental subsidies and supportive services funded by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports through governor Cuomo’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.
“We are committed to creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities for all New Yorkers in every region of the state,” lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul said. “As part of our unprecedented statewide $20 billion housing plan, we have already added or retained nearly 7,400 affordable, multi-family homes in the Finger Lakes. With this investment in Happiness House Apartments, we are helping an additional 30 families, seniors and individuals struggling with homelessness find a safe and secure place to live.”
Town supervisor Cathy Menikotz said, “The groundbreaking today represents the next step toward independent living for those individuals who might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. The Town of Canandaigua appreciates all of the hard work by everyone involved from Happiness House and beyond to make this possible and are grateful to have provided our support to make this possible today.”