Elmira celebrates completion of two major housing projects
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- It was a historic and exciting day in the City of Elmira on Wednesday. Not one, but two major housing projects celebrated completion..
Wednesday morning, local, county and state officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the former Jones Court site on Baldwin Street in Elmira. Now formally called "Libertad Elmira," the once-dilapidated building underwent over a year of intense renovations. It's now been transformed into a $20 million affordable housing mixed-use building. The Vecino Group is behind the construction on the project, which also includes a partnership with neighboring Elmira Economic Opportunity Program, Inc.(E.O.P.).
"We're very very excited today because this is a project because we broke ground May of 2018 and already a year-and-a-half later we are in the facility, we're 50% occupied. It is such a wonderful example of next-level of community revitalization," exclaims Andrea Ogunwumi, CEO of E.O.P.
Libertad Elmira also has another unique aspect, with 20 of the 91 units specifically reserved for homeless veterans. There will also be on-site services through the Elmira Economic Opportunity Program, to help those veterans in other aspects of life, outside of housing.
"We owe it to our veterans to do it too, by the way. So for them to get re-integrated with our population, get them good jobs, get them back in society, being productive members of society - we owe it to them to do that. It's a great partnership," says Elmira Mayor, Dan Mandell.
Wednesday afternoon, it was a similar affair, this time on the city's southside. Chemung Crossings is a $15 million investment into a cluster of buildings on S. Main & West Henry Streets. The mixed-use building features 45 new housing units and 3,800 feet of commercial space. The price tag for the units range from rent starting at $520 up to $975.
"Having good, affordable housing is a human right and this way basically it makes sure that our residents, regardless of their financial circumstances, have a healthy, safe place to live for themselves and their families," says Lenny Skrill, Upstate Director of Development at NYS Homes & Community Renewal.
Both of these projects are also paving the way for even more housing investment in the city.
"Now we have two more that are starting! The one Arbor Housing on Lake Street - there's $20 million worth of investment there targeting artists to come to come to Elmira and live and practice their artwork there. And then also over here by DSS building on La France street, they're going to be building affordable housing over there to help people that are in need of housing and services that may be addicted to drugs and alcohol," adds Mayor Mandell.
Additional information, including rental applications for each site can be found below:
LIBERTAD ELMIRA: https://elmira.wearelibertad.com/
CHEMUNG CROSSINGS: https://www.housingvisions.org/projects/chemung-crossing/