JAMESTOWN – Southern Tier Environments for Living, Inc. (STEL), has received two state grants totaling $790,000 to develop 35 supportive housing units in Chautauqua County. STEL is a local agency devoted to helping individuals with psychiatric and physical disabilities.
The awards are part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2.6 billion Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, which is a five-year plan to develop 6,000 units of supportive housing across the state.
The local funding for STEL will be applied to the proposed Gateway Lofts project in Jamestown at the Gateway Center, as well as the Dunkirk Renovation and Ownership program.
STEL was also awarded funding for its proposed Gateway Lofts project, which is still in the planning phase. This is a multifamily affordable housing project that would be located in Jamestown and include 74 housing units. Of these units, the award provides $625,000 for 25 units for individuals who are homeless and have a serious mental illness or a substance use disorder with a history of criminal offending or are at risk of offending. The project would be a collaboration among STEL, Community Helping Hands Inc., and Chautauqua County’s Department of Mental Hygiene and Department of Corrections.
“All 25 of the ESSHI units for the proposed project in Jamestown would be affordable for households with incomes at or below 50 percent of area median income and under this funding it would create affordable units for households with incomes at or below 30 percent,” said Thomas Whitney, Executive Director of STEL. “These ESSHI units are intended to be an alternative to incarceration. We have not secured all of our capital funds for this project, but New York State Senator Catharine Young has been an important asset in helping us achieve funding for this project.”
STEL’s Dunkirk Renovation and Ownership Program is a multifamily affordable housing project that will be located at various sites in the eastern portion of the City of Dunkirk. It will involve the new construction of 11 buildings and the rehabilitation of 14 existing one and two-family houses to create a total of 49 units of affordable rental housing for low income individuals and families. Of these 49 units, the award provides $165,000 for 10 units for homeless individuals with serious mental illness.
“Increasing the number of supportive housing units in Chautauqua County has been one of my key priorities,” said Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan. “These awards will help provide support services to individuals who are facing homelessness and struggling with mental illnesses or drug addiction. It will also help keep rent affordable for them as they get the services they need.”
The project would be a collaboration between STEL, Community Helping Hands, Inc. and Chautauqua County’s Department of Mental Hygiene and Department of Corrections.