Bonacic Announces Funding For Housing, Community Development In Ellenville

John J. Bonacic

August 07, 2007

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mt. Hope), Chairman of the Senate Housing Committee today announced multiple grants for housing and community development in Ulster, Orange, Delaware, and Sullivan Counties. Two projects in Ellenville will receive substantial assistance.

Ellenville Senior Housing, which Ellenville Regional Hospital is a partner in, will receive funding to build a more than $10 million senior citizen housing complex adjacent to the hospital. The housing includes 55 units and will be targeted for area seniors.

Senator Bonacic championed the initiative, which will provide substantial financial assistance to the hospital as well. Rents will range from $340 a month to $790

Ellenville Regional Hospital CEO Steve Kelley said, "This development will not only provide safe, quality housing for seniors, but will also provide substantial annual revenue to the hospital through the partnership we have developed with the housing developer. Senator Bonacic’s help in making this development a reality was significant and is appreciated. Quality housing, help for the hospital, this is a true community win-win."

Ensuring the Ellenville housing initiative received funding was a high priority for Senator Bonacic. "As Chairman of the Senate Housing Committee, and as someone who has been intimately involved with making Ellenville hospital financially viable again, I am doubly pleased this senior housing will be built. Ellenville, with its new emergency room, and now with the annual revenue which will be produced by this housing, is really on the rise," Senator Bonacic said.

In addition to new housing for Ellenville, downtown Ellenville will also undergo improvements due to a grant under the State’s Main Street program. The $200,000 in funding for that grant, inserted into the State budget at the request of Senator Bonacic, will be used for facade renovations, interior building renovations, and streetscape enhancements in the downtown Ellenville area. The $200,000 grant award requires equity contributions by building owners,

bringing the total expected value of improvements close to $500,000. The grant will be administered by Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO).

RUPCO will also manage a $200,000 grant to make homes handicapped accessible under the Access to Homes program. Rural Sullivan Housing Corporation will receive $100,000 under the same program. Provider Hamaspik, an Orange County not for profit, will receive $500,000 also under the Access to Homes program. Under the Access to Homes law, grants are made to those who are disabled or become disabled so they can stay in their home and avoid entering into long term care facilities.

Senator Bonacic wrote the Access to Homes Law. The law is currently up for a national housing award. "I worked to develop the Access to Homes program after hearing from wounded war veterans and others who need special accommodations in their home. Allowing people to live in their homes in dignity is important and also more cost effective than nursing home care. Seeing some of the Access to Home funding coming back to our local communities is particularly rewarding," Senator Bonacic said.

Other grants include $500,000 for RUPCO’s home ownership center program; $200,000 for main street improvements in Roxbury; and $200,000 for main street improvements in Delhi. All grants were awarded after review by the State Affordable Housing Corporation, which is an umbrella organization for various State housing agencies. Senator Bonacic is currently in his ninth year as Chairman of the Senate Housing Committee.