PLATTSBURGH — A new affordable housing project in the North Country has received major state funding.

Atlas Heights, a 40-unit development off New York Road in the Town of Plattsburgh, will receive $3.6 million in funding from the state's $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan.

"We've been working on this since 2014, so we are super, super excited to get this funding," Plattsburgh Housing Authority Executive Director Mark Hamilton, said.

ABUSE VICTIM SUPPORT

The project is being done by Plattsburgh Community Housing, an affiliate of Plattsburgh Housing Authority.

The plan calls for 40 units to be developed on a 5-acre parcel at the corner of New York Road and Montana Avenue between the Dannemora Federal Credit Union site and Seton Catholic Central School on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base property.

Hamilton said of the 40 units, 14 will be dedicated to victims of domestic abuse.

"We've been working with STOP Domestic Violence and feel this is a good fit for them," Hamilton said.

INCOME REQUIREMENT

The Housing Authority will manage the development.

"The hope is that we can begin to create and continue that management component and be available to manage additional projects as they are developed," Hamilton said.

Those wishing to live in the new development must qualify with incomes below 55 percent of the area median income.

Hamilton said there is a tremendous need for such housing in the area.

"We will be able to provide workforce housing with this basically," Hamilton said.

"This will make sure that people who want to work in this community can have a place to live."

'SIGNIFICANT NEED'

Studies have shown that more than 55 percent of renters in the area pay more than 30 percent of their wages in rent, Hamilton said.

"That is the definition of unaffordable," he said.

"There is a significant need for more affordable housing."

The project is being constructed by 3D Development of Buffalo, and Hamilton said they hope to break ground in the fall.

'BIG FOR EVERYONE'

Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman said the project will definitely benefit the area.

"We are elated that this project is moving forward," Cashman said.

"Plattsburgh Housing Authority has always been forward-thinking and willing to partner to bring about good, affordable projects. This is going to be big for everyone."

YOUNGER PEOPLE

Although the project is not in the City of Plattsburgh, it is very close.

Mayor Colin Read said the project could help many younger people looking to settle in the area.

"Younger people always seem to need a way to get a foot up in housing," Read said.

"This will be a big help."

POTSDAM PROJECT

The funding is part of $175.4 million the state is now awarding to build or preserve more than 2,185 affordable apartments and revitalize communities across New York's 10 economic development regions.

In addition to the $3.6 million for Atlas Heights, $5.6 million was awarded to the Village of Potsdam to fund the transformation of Snell Hall, an underused downtown Clarkson University building, into a mixed-use complex with 59 apartments affordable to households with incomes below 60 percent of the area median income, a hub for the arts, housing the St. Lawrence Arts Council and a community theater, as well as the Shipley Center for Innovation, a business incubator.

"These critical investments will strengthen communities in every corner of the state by creating and preserving affordable homes for families, veterans, seniors and some of our most vulnerable neighbors," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

"By strategically revitalizing neighborhoods throughout New York, we can breathe new life into these communities, making them more vibrant places to live for generations to come."

HELP AREA GROW

State Sen. Betty Little said for many, access to affordable housing is essential.

"For several years, as the chair of the Senate's housing committee, I was pleased to work on this issue not only for the North Country but communities across New York state," Little (R-Queensbury),said.

Assembly member Billy Jones said the state's investment will not only create affordable homes for working families, it will help Plattsburgh grow and become a more vibrant city.

"It will help grow our economy and ensure workers have convenient, affordable housing with short commutes to work," Jones said.

Email Joe LoTemplio:

jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @jlotemplio

Staff Writer at Press-Republican since November of 1985. Has covered just about all beats at the paper, including sports.Currently covers government and politics. Graduated from Plattsburgh State in 1985. Originally from Rochester, NY.

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