LaFrance Apartments Provides Housing and New Beginnings
New Affordable Housing Complex in Elmira Home to 37 Individuals
LaFrance Apartments, a new affordable housing development for individuals and families in Elmira, recently became home to 37 new residents thanks to Providence Housing Development Corporation (PHDC), Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler (CCC/S), New York State Homes and Community Renewal, a dedicated construction team, and many others who helped pull everything together during a difficult year. LaFrance Apartments is located at 416 Powell Street in Elmira, New York. Construction began in October 2019 and was completed in November 2020. Tenants were initially selected on a random basis through use of a housing lottery in July 2020, and residents began moving in at the end of 2020. PHDC closed on the permanent financing of the property on June 9, 2021.
The $8.2 million development features 37 one-bedroom apartments providing affordable housing for 17 individuals or two-person families, and 20 apartments reserved for eligible NYS Empire State Homeless Housing Initiative (ESSHI) residents referred by CCC/S.
“With so many struggling during 2020, we are thrilled to be able to provide safe, affordable housing to those having difficulty finding a home,” said Mark Greisberger, Executive Director for Providence Housing. “There is a tremendous housing need for community members with a disability, who are homeless or are working on their recovery, and we are happy to make housing and services available for those in need.”
PHDC partnered on the project with CCC/S who serves anyone in need and works to help individuals and families secure housing. CCC/S offers skills training and case management services to eligible residents on site at LaFrance Apartments to help build life skills, prepare residents for job readiness, and aide with recovery. “It’s important to make affordable apartments available for people who may find it difficult to find safe housing. We are privileged to provide needed support services for the residents of LaFrance,” states Nancy Koons, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. To assist residents needing stability and recovery counseling, Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler partnered with Casa-Trinity of Chemung who provides 24/7 on-site guidance, allowing LaFrance residents to feel fully supported.
The development was made possible as part of the state’s plan and commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing through their unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing and Homelessness Plan. The following community leaders, businesses and funding partners have shown their commitment to affordable housing and PHDC’s mission during the project: Governor Cuomo and Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul; Congressman Tom Reed; Assemblyman Chris Friend; Chemung County Executive, Chris Moss; Mayor of Elmira, Dan Mandell, and Community Development Director, Emma Miran; Department of Social Services and Mental Hygiene Commissioner, Brian Hart; Chemung County Sheriff, Bill Shrom; Greater Rochester Housing Partnership (GRHP) President, Theodora Finn; and staff from Providence Housing; Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler; New York State Homes & Community Renewal (NYSHCR); Regions Bank; Hamilton Stern Construction; Fagan Engineers; SWBR Architects; environment and green consultants, Sustainable Comfort; Oxford Consulting, Inc.; attorneys at Sayles & Evans, Underberg & Kessler and Cannon, Heyman & Weiss; Casa-Trinity of Chemung; and many others who assisted on the project. Additional funding was provided by Anderson Foundation, Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and The Finger Lakes, Inc., Douglas G. Anderson – Leigh R. Evans Foundation, and the J.M. McDonald Foundation.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “LaFrance Apartments provides 37 households with the kind of support and individualized care that they need thrive. The work we’ve done here through Governor Cuomo’s housing plan is making an essential difference for downtown Elmira, helping to bring it back to life and creating jobs and opportunity that keeps the Southern Tier soaring.”
Congressman Tom Reed: “We were glad to support this project and are grateful for the work of everyone involved who made this possible,” said Rep. Tom Reed. “We are glad to see it come to fruition now, and we appreciate the impact this will have on affordable housing in Elmira.”
Senator Tom O’Mara said, “Thank you to everyone involved in the accomplishment of this critical addition to safe and affordable housing in the city of Elmira. These investments make an enormous difference in many lives and serve to strengthen the foundation and the quality of our local communities. LaFrance Apartments is a great achievement, and I am proud to help support it.”
Assemblyman Chris Friend said, “Too many individuals have fallen on hard times and have had trouble getting back on their feet. Thanks to Providence Housing, 37 more individuals in our county have an affordable place to live. The completion of this project benefits those who have been struggling with an affordable home and support services through Catholic Charities.”
Chemung County Executive Chris Moss said, “LaFrance Apartments will help fill a growing need for affordable and accessible housing options in our community for those who need it most. The partnership between Providence Housing and Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler will enable those who are trying to build a better life for themselves in Chemung County make it happen.”
Mayor of Elmira, Dan Mandell said, “Thanks to Providence Housing, people in our community will have an opportunity for an affordable place to live. Affordable, decent and safe housing is an important part of any community. The completion of LaFrance Apartments in the City of Elmira benefits those who have been struggling with finding economical housing. The City of Elmira is proud to support the effort to make these apartments a reality. The City of Elmira supports the partnership between Providence Housing and Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler’s efforts to assist those who are trying to build a better life for themselves in our community make it happen.”
Elmira Community Development Director, Emma Miran said, “LaFrance Apartments is an impactful project towards the growth and development of Elmira and is a much-needed addition to the City’s housing stock. The partnership with Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler and Providence Housing is wonderful to see and will significantly help families and individuals who are seeking a safe and affordable place to live.”
Department of Social Services and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Brian Hart said, “Having housing that is both accessible and affordable to a sector of the community with the highest need is a tremendous asset. With its location adjacent to our department and the knowledge that we will be continuing to do work in a collaborative manner with our preexisting partners at Providence Housing and Catholic Charities is exciting. We are equally excited to be adding in a partnership with Trinity of Chemung’s supports for the residents of this housing facility.”
LaFrance Apartments are spacious and offer many amenities for residents. The apartments are non-smoking, handicapped accessible, and provide equal opportunity housing for those struggling to find a safe, affordable home. Income and occupancy requirements apply. All units are currently occupied, but for more information or to be placed on a short waiting list, please visit ProvidenceHousing.org/Housing/LaFrance-Apartments or call (607) 735-5604.
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About Providence Housing Development Corporation: For more than 25 years, Providence Housing, a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, has developed, financed and managed housing for individuals and families in the 12 counties of the Diocese including Chemung, Tompkins, Monroe, Ontario, Livingston, and Yates.
About Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler: Catholic Charities provides support to individuals and families in our community to help them live a more self-reliant life. They specialize in emergency services and housing supports. For more information on services, please visit www.cs-cc.org or call 607-734-9784.