YWCA Cortland and Christopher Community Open Grace Brown House

Categories: New York State, Member News, Openings

YWCA Cortland and Christopher Community Open Grace Brown House image


On July 21st YWCA Cortland and Christopher Community joined project and government partners to celebrate the opening of a new supportive housing residence, Grace Brown House. Located in Cortland, the residence is creating 25 new supportive housing apartments for survivors of domestic violence and their families. Christopher Community developed the project and onsite services are provided by YWCA Cortland funded by the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) through New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

The residence is named in honor of Grace Brown, a woman who was murdered by her domestic partner and whose story mobilized domestic violence awareness in Cortland. Located near public transportation, Grace Brown House features a community room, computer lab, children’s play room, an outdoor patio and playground.

"There's a tremendous need for high quality affordable housing with supportive services in this community,” said Justin Rudgick, President & CEO, Christopher Community Inc. “The Grace Brown House will make a positive difference in the lives of the 25 families that will call this home.”

"The number one reason for homelessness is the lack of affordable housing,” said Assemblymember Anna R. Kelles.

"Without the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI), there's no way this would have been possible," said Angela Loh, YWCA Housing Committee Chair, YWCA Cortland. Andrea Rankin, also of the Housing Committee added, “We are here because YWCA always rises to the occasion.”

As always, the voice of a new tenant, Kathleen, was the most powerful who said simply: “You cannot imagine how grateful I am.”

Remarks were also given by: Scott Steve, Mayor, City of Cortland; Thomas Williams, Town Supervisor, Cortlandville; Leonard Skrill, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR); Dana Greenberg, New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA); Stephen J. Gorczynski,, M&T Bank, and Jahmila Vincent, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

Financing for the project was provided by NYS OTDA’s Homeless Housing Assistance Project (HHAP), NYS HCR’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP) and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP), and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA),

The architect is Homes King Kallquist & Associates and the general contractor is Rich & Gardner Construction Co.

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