(WNY News Now) – Governor Kathy Hochul announced the completion of a substantial rehabilitation at McCarley Gardens Apartments, an affordable housing development in East Buffalo. The renovation project included energy efficiency, weatherization, and other necessary safety upgrades to the 46-year-old development, while preserving affordable rents for 149 households.
“The preservation of affordable housing developments like this one is crucial for keeping our neighborhoods stable and inclusive and helping families thrive without the burden of excessive housing costs,” Governor Hochul said. “The rehabilitation of McCarley Gardens Apartments has resulted in comfortable and sustainable homes for hundreds of Buffalonians, breathing new life into this community, and building upon years of State investment in the revitalization of neighborhoods across the Queen City.”
In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved nearly 7,500 affordable homes in Buffalo. McCarley Gardens Apartments continues this effort and complements Governor Hochul’s $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
The McCarley Gardens project consisted of the substantial rehabilitation of 21 townhome-style buildings that were built in 1978 and the new construction of four additional two-story townhome buildings. The completed development now contains 27 two-bedroom apartments, 94 three-bedroom apartments, and 28 four-bedroom apartments. All apartments are affordable for households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income.
The scope of interior renovations included the installation of new kitchens with upgraded appliances, fixtures, cabinets, and countertops; new low-flow bathroom fixtures; and cosmetic upgrades that include new flooring and new paint. Exterior upgrades included the replacement of storm and sewer lines, newly repaved parking areas, and new sidewalks.
The rehabilitation was designed to improve the development’s energy efficiency, utilizing solar panels, upgraded insulation, new windows, Energy Star-rated appliances, and high-efficiency boilers and hot water heaters. The renovations are expected to reduce overall energy usage by nearly 30 percent.
The development team consisted of St. Johns Baptist Church and BFC Partners.
State support for the $57 million rehabilitation included $10 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, $24 million in Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and $9 million in subsidy from HCR. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided nearly $210,000 in support, including $60,000 from the New Construction-Housing program for the new two-story and nearly $73,000 through the NY-Sun Solar incentive program.
Through the Weatherization Preservation Plus initiative (P+), HCR also awarded the project $700,000 for the installation of underground electrical wiring, new electrical meter banks, and new electrical feeds in each unit. The P+ Initiative combines state resources with funding from the federal Weatherization Assistance Program to allow for enhanced weatherization work in multifamily developments with Section 8 project-based rental assistance.
Division of Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The State’s $43 million investment in the rehabilitation of McCarley Gardens Apartments continues our long-standing partnership with Buffalo’s faith-based community that has produced thousands of affordable homes and improved quality of life in neighborhoods across the city. For the 149 households who call McCarley Gardens Apartments home, this long-overdue project provides them with a healthier and more comfortable living environment that remains affordable. The substantial upgrades made during renovations reduced the development’s power consumption by nearly a third, resulting in lower energy costs for residents, and improved storm resiliency against extreme weather. Thank you to St. John’s Baptist Church and BFC Partners for their years of hard work bringing this project to fruition.”
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “The energy efficient features at McCarley Gardens, which include upgraded insulation and new windows, Energy Star-rated appliances, clean heating and cooling, and onsite solar, will help make the development a healthier, more affordable and comfortable place to live for residents. This project exemplifies how under Governor Hochul’s leadership, combining state resources with private-public partnerships can provide modernized housing with high-quality benefits that reduce carbon emissions for the betterment of all New Yorkers.”
State Senator Tim Kennedy said, “The extensive rehabilitation of McCarley Gardens is a testament to affordable housing projects driven by the community, for the community. New York continues to invest in these opportunities because we recognize the direct impact they have on improved quality of life and sustained growth within our greater community. I applaud BFC Partners and St. John Baptist Church for collaborating closely with NYS Homes and Community Renewal and bringing their shared vision to life.”
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, ““I am proud that this moment has finally come, the completion of Phase 1 of McCarley Gardens renovations. For years, residents have patiently stood by and watched the world develop around them, wondering to themselves, “When will it be our turn?” Thanks to the BFC Partners, HUD, St. John’s Baptist Church, HCR and others, today is finally that day. Everyone deserves the dignity of living in a clean, safe and affordable environment.”
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, “Affordable housing continues to be a critical need in Erie County, and thanks to Governor Hochul the McCarley Gardens project will provide 149 such units, located near downtown and all with improved energy efficiency. This is a smart investment that reused and upgraded existing infrastructure to better serve people and I thank all involved for making it a reality.”
Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “This project compliments my administration’s continued dedication to equitable development and affordable housing. The city has contributed $1 Million in HOME funds towards the project and I’m proud to play a role in the completion of the McCarley Gardens renovation project. I commend Rev. Michael Chapman, St. John Baptist Church and its Community Development Corporation for spearheading this project. I would also like to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her continued support of my administration’s mission to offer quality affordable housing in the city of Buffalo.
Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader Leah Halton-Pope said, “Governor Hochul’s announcement of the completion of McCarley Gardens Apartments’ rehabilitation marks a significant milestone in our ongoing mission to prioritize affordable housing. As Majority Leader, I applaud this initiative for not only preserving affordability but also for its focus on energy efficiency, ensuring a sustainable future for Buffalo’s residents.”
BFC Partners Managing Principal Donald Capoccia said, “Our team has gotten to know McCarley Gardens residents very well through the renovation process, making it all the more rewarding to know that 149 families are now enjoying significantly upgraded homes, complete with much improved energy efficiency. We gratefully thank all our partners in this project, including St. Johns Baptist Church and the critical funding and support from New York State.”
St. John Baptist Church Pastor Michael Chapman said, “The Buffalo Black Billion’s Leadership, two churches, two campuses and One Village, is thankful to God for the McCarley Garden renovations. It is the culmination of the dreams and efforts of the two former Pastoral Administrations of St. John Baptist Church. Pastor Bernie C. McCarley purchased the land, Pastor Reverend Dr. Bennett W. Smith Sr. built the development, and now we have completed the $57 million renovation of the complex. BFC Partners has done an excellent job coordinating day-to-day operations, securing financing and funding and navigating through the difficulties of renovating a 15.1-acre site while 149 families remained in their residents. We would like to thank the Honorable Mayor Byron W. Brown of the City Buffalo, Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Planning Brendan R. Mehaffy, and Director of Housing Yvonne McCray. In addition, we thank Governor Kathy Hochul and HCR.”