Photo by Nancy J. Parisi, Social Documentation Photography
On August 12th, Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC) and Rochester’s Cornerstone Group joined project partners, elected officials and members of the community to celebrate the opening of Westminster Commons, a new affordable and supportive housing residence in Buffalo, New York.
Westminster Commons is creating 84 new affordable and supportive apartments -- 40 supportive -- for seniors. Onsite services will be provided by BFNC funded by the Empire State Housing Initiative (ESSHI) through New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH).
“We want residents to feel that they are part of a thriving community;” said Chandra Redfern, Chief Executive Officer, Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, “a community that provides affordable and quality housing options, is walkable, and where senior residents have access to medical care and other services that allow them to live a quality life.”
“In a city where 27 percent of our population is age 55 and over - a demographic that is continuing to rise -- it is imperative that we continue to address the current and future affordable housing needs of our older residents.” Said Mayor Byron W. Brown, “Westminster Commons represents the importance of having safe and affordable homes for our seniors to age in place, in the communities they know and love.”
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Governor Cuomo's strategic investment in Buffalo's East Side is transforming the area with new commercial activity, access to health services, and affordable housing that allows seniors to live independently in the neighborhood they call home."
Located in Buffalo’s East Side near essential services and public transportation, Westminster Commons also includes the historic renovation of Westminster Settlement House, which will have a federally qualified healthcare center, physical therapy suite, adult day programming, and a bank.
Capital funding for Westminster Commons came from federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; NYS Homes and Community Renewal Supportive Housing Opportunity Program and Urban Community Investment Fund; NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Homeless Housing Assistance Program; The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York through Office of The Honorable Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes; the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and Federal and State Historic Tax Credit equity.
The architect on the project is Carmina Wood Morris DPC and the general contractor is RP Oakhill Building Company, Inc.