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DePaul Opens Beautiful Joseph L. Allen Apartments in Schenectady

11.21.2017

Named in honor of Joseph L. Allen, Schenectady’s first African-American councilman.

Celebrating the opening of Joseph L. Allen Apartments with  Joseph L. Allen’s daughter Lakeia Allen-Bowman; his grandson, Raymond Joseph Allen-Bowman; Schenectady Community Action Program Executive Director Debra Schimpf; Schenectady City Councilwoman Marion Porterfield;  Vice Chair of the County Legislature Karen Johnson; Associate Commissioner for the Adult Community Care Group within the Division of Adult Services at the New York State Office of Mental Health Moira Tashjian; Senator James Tedisco; New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas;  DePaul President Mark Fuller; and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.

The opening of DePaul’s Joseph L. Allen Apartments October 5th was an especially heart-warming event: in addition to local and state luminaries, the family of Mr. Allen, Schenectady’s first African-American councilman, was on hand. “He would be proud,” said his daughter Lakeia Allen Bowman of having the beautiful new Hamilton Hill residence named after him.  “He would be humbled, and he would shed a few tears.”

Lakeia’s young son Raymond added: “Every time I pass the building, it reminds me of how great my grandpa was.”

The striking apartments - with gray and orange exterior accents - will provide homes to 51 families and individuals, with half the apartments set-aside for families and individuals struggling with mental illness and the other half providing homes to low-income families and individuals from the community.

Services are provided by Schenectady Community Action Program and funded by the Office of Mental Health (OMH). Onsite services include linkage to medical, clinical, vocational, educational, and recreational services

The environmentally-friendly apartment complex features a  large community room with a full kitchen, a computer lab, a landscaped back garden, and free Wi-Fi. Throughout the building hang photos of local landmarks including City Hall, Veterans’ Park and Jerry Burrell Park.

Welcoming those assembled, DePaul President Mark Fuller said “We are so proud to be part of the revitalization of the Hamilton Hill neighborhood community and to provide homes for people in need.”

State Senator Jim Tedisco and County Legislator Karen Johnson, who served on the City Council with Allen, remarked that the development is a fitting tribute to Councilmember Allen who worked so hard to represent the people of Hamilton Hill.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas told participants, “This nearly $18 million development enhances the lives of 51 households, strengthens the neighborhood and advances Schenectady’s vibrant revitalization drive.”

Other dignitaries at the event included  Assemblyman Phil Steck, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, City Councilwoman Marion Porterfield,  and OMH’s Moira Tashjian.
 
Funding for the Joseph L. Allen Apartments came from NYS Housing Finance Agency, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, NYS Office of Mental Health, JPMorgan Chase, and the Housing Trust Fund Corporation acting by and through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR). The syndicator was Red Stone Equity Partners, LLC. The architect was SWBR Architects and the contractor was Christa Construction.

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