City Council Committee Approves Sale of Four Buildings and Two Lots on Germania Avenue to Better Community Neighborhoods, Inc. (BCNI)

BCNI Seeking State Grant to Build Fourteen New Quality Affordable Apartments by Renovating Seven Buildings on Hamilton Hill

January 17, 2024

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – At the Schenectady City Council Committee meeting last night, approval was granted to transfer four vacant buildings and two vacant lots on Germania Avenue to Better Community Neighborhoods, Inc. (BCNI).  BCNI will submit a grant application to the State Housing Trust Fund to renovate seven buildings on Hamilton Hill in Schenectady creating 14 new high-quality affordable housing units.   A pre-application was submitted in late December to NYS Homes and Community Renewal, the agency responsible for administering this federal housing funding, and the State has responded by approving the submittal of a full application by BCNI for grant funding needed to complete the renovation project.

“We are hopeful of securing grant funding from New York State to transform vacant distressed buildings into new housing units that everyone in Schenectady can be proud of, ” said Chad Kilbourne, Chair of the BCNI Board of Directors.

BCNI already has site control for three buildings on Schenectady Street that will be renovated to create six new apartments if grant funding is secured.  The City Council will take final action on the transfer of the Germania Avenue properties to BCNI next Monday. The four Germania Avenue buildings will be used to create eight additional rental units.    The four buildings are located at 324, 329, 333 and 337 Germania Avenue plus vacant lots at 327 and 334 Germania.

The City of Schenectady has approved $500,000 in ARPA funding to support this renovation effort and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York has approved $100,000 to complete pre-construction planning.

“If the grant is awarded, we will be ready to commence the renovation of these seven buildings,” said Shane Bargy, BCNI’s Executive Director. “This project is shovel-ready and we are hopeful of securing grant funding.  Our team worked really hard to submit the funding pre-application in late December.”

Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “This project deserves funding and we are asking State leaders to help us meet affordable housing goals by moving forward with this important development initiative.  This keeps the progress going on Hamilton Hill as we continue to make meaningful investments in our neighborhoods.”

“Having adequate shelter is a basic need for everyone and gives a sense of belonging and community,” said City Council President Marion Porterfield. “Funding this project will provide housing in a neighborhood where finding affordable housing can be challenging. Awarding this grant will support a project that will not only positively impact families but an entire community that is beginning to see much needed revitalization.”

The Hamilton Hill neighborhood has benefitted from more than $80 million in new investment in recent years including recently announced plans by Metroplex and the Land Bank to demolish six buildings on Albany Street and one building on Schenectady Street.

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