Atwater Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo announced that construction will begin on a $17 million housing development that will provide affordable accommodations for seniors in the city of Buffalo. La Plaza de Virginia will include a senior service center as well. The developer, Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo, is a nonprofit organization that offers social services to underserved communities. This new affordable housing development is part of Cuomo’s $20 billion affordable Housing Plan that will take place over five years.
Governor Cuomo explained that La Plaza de Virginia will “provide supportive housing and health care services to help some of our most vulnerable Buffalo residents.” The intention is to provide all New Yorkers with access to safe and affordable housing.
This project is also expected to bring jobs to the Buffalo area. The construction industry added 210,000 jobs in 2017 alone, but job loss has been a major issue over the past 12 months due to the global pandemic and economic crisis.
“This project will create 46 affordable homes, and provide supportive services, including a community senior center and a café, for underserved seniors in Buffalo,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
La Plaza de Virginia has been designed to include 46 one-bedroom apartments for senior citizens living on incomes 60% or less than the Area Median Income. And 14 of those apartments will be reserved for people 65 and older who were previously homeless; these tenants will also have access to supportive services to help them achieve housing stability in the future. Additional services for senior tenants will include mental health and substance use support, reliable transportation, health care coordination, educational workshops, and comprehensive care management.
The complex will include a courtyard, a lounge, and laundry facilities on each floor. There will also be a space to provide primary health care services, including medical offices and exam rooms. Finally, a cafe on the ground floor will offer access to healthy food for both residents and locals in the area.
A Project Manager will oversee all phases of the construction project to ensure it runs on-time and on-budget. Property Management services will be taken care of by Cornerstone Group of Rochester, and the Social and Supportive Services will be coordinated by Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo.
Every year, about 5,500 individuals experience homelessness in Western New York. And roughly 45% of the population in Buffalo and Erie County currently live below the poverty line. Many of these individuals are elderly. The senior population in the U.S. is growing quickly. Over the past decade, the number of New Yorkers ages 65 and older increased by 647,000. Similarly, between 2009 and 2018, the population of people aged 65 and up living in the state of Illinois nearly doubled. Providing affordable accommodations for seniors is a nationwide struggle, but one that Governor Cuomo is showing a commitment to fix here in New York State.