78 New Homes at Fallkill Commons on Rose Offer Safety and Support During Global Pandemic
April 30, 2020 – On April 22nd, Hudson River Housing began to move the first of 78 individuals into its newest affordable housing development, FallKill Commons on Rose. With a comprehensive plan in hand to ensure social distancing and resident and staff safety, over the course of the following days the new tenants, many who have been homeless for weeks, months or years, took their first steps to safe, healthy, and affordable housing.
Fallkill Commons on Rose offers 78 affordable apartments, with 39 set aside for individuals experiencing homelessness who will receive supportive services to help them live successful and independent lives. These comprehensive supportive services are funded through the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health. The development is part of Hudson River Housing’s Middle Main Initiative in downtown Poughkeepsie and sits a block away from the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory. All 78 apartments at FallKill Commons on Rose are affordable to households earning at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income.
FallKill Commons consists of two newly constructed buildings along the banks of the FallKill Creek. Vibrant colors (selected by residents as part of the building’s design process) enliven the hallways. Local artists were commissioned to add their work to the building, ranging from murals to weavings to photography. The buildings include community rooms and bike storage, and proximity to downtown means walkable access to needed services.
“We never expected to be finishing one of the largest projects in our agency’s history during a time like this. Despite everything, we were committed to making sure that the individuals who are depending on this housing were able to move in as soon as possible,” says executive director Christa Hines.
For weeks, housing advocates including Hudson River Housing have been drawing attention to the importance of stable, affordable housing to ensure community health. “Stay at home orders have a certain irony to those working with the homeless and housing insecure. This crisis is shining a light on those with the luxury to be home – to even have a home – and those without,” says director of strategic initiatives Elizabeth Celaya.
Despite the stark circumstances surrounding them, move-in day at FallKill Commons has been life changing for many residents. “We are witness to stories of gratitude beyond our expectations,” says director of real estate development Mary Linge.
New tenant Jack Joy’s name is fitting for his reaction upon seeing his new home for the first time. “Wow – this is so beautiful! This is so amazing!” he exudes. Another tenant comments, “If it wasn’t for social distancing, I’d hug you!”
Their sense of relief and happiness is palpable. Many are speechless as they take in their new surroundings. “This is unbelievable,” says new tenant Simon. “I’m going to cry.”
Hudson River Housing has always believed that housing is a human right, and that everyone should have a safe, affordable, quality place to live.
“We’re proud that no matter the circumstances, we are always here, working to improve lives and communities through housing with compassion and development with vision,” says Christa Hines. Thanks to that commitment, this month 78 families have been able to turn from the fear and uncertainty of a global pandemic to their own place of refuge – a permanent place to call home.
Financing for Fallkill Commons on Rose includes federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $16.4 million in equity and an additional $2.7 million in subsidy from New York State Office of Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $67,800. The Community Preservation Corporation provided $1.9 million. Additional financing was provided by grants from the Dutchess County HOME program and NeighborWorks.
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “As we face an unprecedented health and economic crisis, it has become more apparent than ever how essential secure and affordable housing is for the well-being of all people. We are so grateful to Hudson River Housing for safely moving 78 new residents into FallKill Commons on Rose under the most difficult circumstances, bringing stability and relief to these individuals and comfort to their loved ones. The days and weeks ahead will bring new challenges but thanks to the tireless work of our nonprofit partners, our fellow state agencies, and the strong leadership of Governor Cuomo, we will continue to provide, preserve and protect affordable housing for all New Yorkers in every region across the state.”
For more information, contact (845) 905-6183.