On September 21st, East House joined elected officials and project partners to break ground on a new affordable and supportive housing residence, Canal Commons. When complete, Canal Commons will create 123 new affordable apartments, including 70 supportive units, in Rochester. Onsite services will be provided by East House, funded by the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) administered through NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH).
Scott Moquin, Acting President and CEO of East House kicked off the program, “Canal Commons is the ideal story of recovery. It will make a big impact on the gap of affordable housing, particularly for those in recovery in this community."
Monica C. McCullough, Esq., President, MM Development Advisors, Inc., followed, stating, “The construction of Canal Commons will support more than 200 construction trade jobs and the ongoing operations will create more than 18 new full-time jobs. Supportive housing is a transformative investment in both people and communities.”
”Because of work beginning today, 123 households will have a brighter future and an affordable home in a remarkable building” said New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas “The inclusion of 70 homes with supportive services will ensure that the neighborhood's economic growth leaves no one behind.”
"Housing insecurity remains a long-standing issue within our community that was only exacerbated by the onset of the global pandemic,” said Assemblymember Demond Meeks. “Affordable developments like Canal Commons will bring needed support to our families and individuals throughout the city of Rochester. It will offer safe, quality, affordable housing in a centralized location with immediate access to on-site resources.”
“East House is a changemaker” said New York State Assembly Member, Harry Bronson. “Affordable housing has to be aligned with mental health and substance abuse.”
State Senator Samra Brouk also spoke to the need to ensure OASAS and OMH are fully funded. Additional speakers included: Christopher Smith, NYS OMH; Dana Greenberg, Bureau of Housing & Support Services, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA); Christopher Zeltmann, US Senator Charles E. Schumer, and Jolie Milstein, NY Association of Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH).
Located in the Flower City's Susan B. Anthony neighborhood and near Rochester’s Central Inner-Loop, Canal Commons will transform an abandoned century-old factory and warehouse into affordable and supportive housing. It will also be green certified under NYSERDA's Multifamily New Construction Program, and is utilizing clean building materials and energy-efficient features, including ENERGY STAR appliances and LED lighting, high-performance space conditioning equipment, windows, insulation, and air sealing.
Canal Commons is funded by permanent tax-exempt bonds, NYS HCR’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP), NYS OTDA’s HHAP, and tax credits.
The co-developer is MM Development Advisors, the architect is Plan Architectural Studios and the central contractor is Hamilton Stern Construction.