New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced the completion of Winston Gaskin Homes, the $22 million rehabilitation of 20 residential buildings in need of repair throughout the east and north side of Syracuse to create 66 affordable and supportive homes for individuals and families, including those who have experienced homelessness or housing insecurity.
“We are proud to partner with Housing Visions and the YWCA on this $22 million investment to upgrade and modernize the century-old Winston Gaskin Homes and to further revitalization efforts across Syracuse’s eastside and northside neighborhoods,” Commissioner Visnauskas said. “Sixty-six families now have a safe, spacious, energy-efficient and affordable apartment with access to supportive services. Through these types of targeted investments, we can continue the rebirth of Syracuse’s neighborhoods and keep Central New York Rising.”
Originally constructed between 1900 and 1930, the buildings underwent moderate rehabilitation funded by the state in the early- and mid-1990s. The development is comprised of 14 buildings on the eastside of Syracuse, mostly along East Genesee Street, and six buildings on the northside near the corner of Catherine and Hickory Streets. The reconstruction was designed to complement the community’s architecture and enhance revitalization efforts in Syracuse.
The apartments range in size from one to five-bedrooms and feature Energy Star appliances, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, central air conditioning, storage areas and laundry facilities. Four of the apartments are fully accessible and adapted for people with mobility impairments, and three have been adapted for people with hearing or vision impairments.
All apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 70 percent of the Area Median Income. The YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County will provide supportive services for 20 households with funding from an Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative award administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The development team consists of Housing Visions and the YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County.
The project is named for Winston “Win” Gaskin, an African American Syracuse resident, pharmacist, Army veteran and community leader who died in 2009. He chaired a committee at University United Methodist Church that established the Neighborhood Linking Project, an outreach to the church’s neighborhood on Syracuse’s Eastside. His leadership of that committee helped lead to the formation of Housing Visions in 1992.
Financing for Winston Gaskin Homes included Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits that generated about $14.2 million in equity and $2 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. OTDA provided nearly $3 million through the Homeless Housing Assistance Program. Additional financing is being provided by NBT Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program.