Bonacic: Affordable Workforce Housing On The Horizon In Wawayanda

John J. Bonacic

August 14, 2008

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C – Mount Hope), Chairman of the Senate Housing Committee, attended the Horizons at Wawayanda Construction Celebration Ceremony with Housing Finance Agency CEO and President Priscilla Almodovar, Orange County Legislator Melissa Bonacic, County Executive Edward Diana, Supervisor John Razzano, Town of Wawayanda officials, lenders, and developers Ken and Larry Regan. Construction is well under way on a new rental housing complex specially designed to help working people afford to live in Orange County.

Horizons at Wawayanda, as it will be called, will provide a rental housing opportunity for 107 lucky local workforce families. New York State funding was crucial to the creation of Horizons. Governor David A. Paterson said, "Workforce housing is a crucial part of affordable, convenient housing for New Yorkers, saving both money and the environment as we shrink commutes and housing costs. Horizons at Wawayanda will provide this type of affordable housing in Orange County and I'm proud the State was able to provide the financing to make it possible."

KEEPING LOCAL WORKERS IN ORANGE COUNTY: With a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, Horizons is designed to provide low-cost high-quality apartments for local workers in a spacious setting. The complex gives local people a quality choice for housing.

Senator John J. Bonacic said, “The need for affordable housing for working families grows stronger each day. The Horizons development will provide quality and affordable housing for local families and seniors."

Critical financing has been provided by the HFA in an effort to make housing for local workers possible. Priscilla Almodovar, HFA President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Horizons at Wawayanda is a terrific example of housing that is both affordable to working families and close to major public transportation connections. The Housing Finance Agency is committed to financing this type of workforce housing in every part of New York State and Horizons will be a great model to follow. We are proud to partner with Regan Development, Orange County and the Town of Wawayanda to make this project a reality.”

Orange County Legislator Melissa Bonacic said, “Everyday families are feeling the pinch of higher energy, housing, and grocery costs. Quality affordable housing for working families in Orange Cunty is a true community asset and one which I am pleased to have in Wawayanda. Quality housing at an affordable price is something every community should strive for.”

QUALITY APARTMENTS FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS: Horizons, slated to open in September of this year, includes large, well-designed apartments to meet the needs of today’s families. Each of the 26 one-bedroom, 54 two-bedroom, and 27 three-bedroom apartments will contain wall-to-wall carpeting, decorator-style bathrooms, well-designed kitchens with dishwashers, ranges and refrigerators, and pre-wiring for telephone and cable television. Larry Regan, President of Regan Development Corporation, developer of Horizons stated, “We are proud to bring these superior quality affordable apartments to the workforce here in Orange County. The apartments are beautiful and new, with ample storage space and amenities. We know that our market demands high quality and value, and that is what the project delivers.” In addition to the apartments, the complex will have on-site parking, recreational space for children, a community room for meetings and parties, and on-site laundry facilities.

BELOW MARKET AFFORDABLE RENTAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR WORKFORCE: The apartments will rent for below-market prices of $805-860 for a one-bedroom unit, $790-1,068 for a two-bedroom unit and $900-1,100 for a three-bedroom unit. With many families in Orange County paying more than 50% of their incomes towards housing expense, Horizons provides an attractive alternative. At several hundred dollars below the local rental market, these rents are specially designed to give people working nearby the opportunity for quality apartment at a cost that will make sense with their budget.

A PRIVATE/ PUBLIC ENDEAVOR: The complex is being built at 3276 Route 6, about ¼ mile from the intersection of Route 17M in Wawayanda. As with many necessary affordable housing endeavors, the success depends on a special mix of private and public financing tools. The affordable rents are made possible through $12.1 million in HFA bond financing, as well as federal tax credit financing. HFA is also providing a Low Interest Second Mortgage of $3.71 million to help subsidize these low rents. Orange County has also provided $515,000 in additional low interest HOME program financing to make this project possible. The Town of Wawayanda has provided tax incentives to make the rents more affordable. To construct the complex, Chase is providing a construction and lease-up period letter of credit for $12.1 million. The private/public collaboration between Regan Development and The New York State Housing Finance Agency is providing much needed, affordable, workforce housing to the citizens of Orange County.

ADDRESSES FOR APPLICATIONS TAKEN NOW: Applications are now available for Fall 2008 occupancy and demand is likely to be strong. Interested parties should contact Horizons at (914) 693-3011. Regan notes, “We urge interested persons and their families to act quickly, as this project will soon have a long waiting list.”