Malorie Lebeau 11/17/2021

The Gardens at Penfield Square Provides 114 Affordable and Energy Efficient Apartments and On-Site Support Services for Seniors

Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of a $29 million affordable housing development for seniors in the town of Penfield in Monroe County. The Gardens at Penfield Square include 114 affordable apartments with 45 apartments set aside for households in need of supportive care to live independently. Adjacent to the development is public green space that will host special events and a farmer's market.   

"Too often, our vulnerable seniors are forced to live in unsafe conditions or are burdened with unaffordable rents," Governor Kathy Hochul said. "With this significant investment, we are helping 114 households in Monroe County achieve housing security in a high-quality home that provides the types of support services to truly meet their health and wellness needs."  

The Gardens at Penfield Square is affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Out of the 114 apartments, 45 are reserved for individuals who will have access to comprehensive supportive services provided by Episcopal SeniorLife Communities. These services, as well as rental subsidies for some residents, are funded through the Governor's Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the New York State Department of Health. 

ESLC's residential services include individual care coordination, development of a Healthy Aging Plan, mental health screening, home health services, transportation, discounted meals and support with grocery shopping, meal planning and meal preparation.  

In additional to the residential building, the project also created a public green space for community events such as small local concerts, farmers' markets, and food truck rodeos. Residents also have access to community gardens, walking and bike trails, and free parking.  

Building amenities for residents include a community room, outdoor patio, fitness center, dog washing station, and laundry facilities on each floor. Each apartment has a private balcony or patio. 

The Gardens at Penfield Square has met energy efficient design guidelines to achieve certification from the Climate Bond Initiative and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's Low-Rise New Construction program. Energy efficient design features include Energy Star labeled appliances, LED lighting, heating and cooling, insulation, and water conserving plumbing fixtures, as well as low emitting products for paints, adhesives and sealants.  

Located at 200 YMCA Way, the development is adjacent to the Eastside YMCA facility, which offers a full schedule of senior programming. The site is also near major commercial services, shopping, and medical offices. The project's developer is Home Leasing. 

State financing includes $4.8 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $7.9 million in equity, and $14.2 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. NYSERDA provided $88,400 in support. 

Penfield Square is part of the state's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan to make housing accessible and to combat homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 homes with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested more than $591 million in Monroe County, which has created or preserved over 6,200 affordable homes. 

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The Gardens at Penfield Square is part of our efforts to address the urgent need for additional affordable and supportive homes for seniors in communities across the state. When older adults can safely age in place, their dignity and independence remain intact while improving health outcomes and reducing medical costs. With 114 energy efficient homes and publicly-accessible green space, this new $29 development will benefit the entire Penfield community and keep the Finger Lakes moving forward."   

Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner Kristin Proud said, "Affordable, safe and supportive housing is essential for the health of our seniors. The Gardens at Penfield Square is equipped to provide its residents with the services and support they need to live full and independent lives in a safe and affordable environment that also provides access to green space and other amenities to enhance the quality of life for residents and community members."   

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA said, "NYSERDA's support for the Gardens at Penfield Square helps provide additional affordable housing for Monroe County's low-income residents that incorporates industry-leading energy efficient practices and equipment. With each opening of environmentally responsible and healthy projects like this, we are advancing the State's goal to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring that all New Yorkers benefit from clean energy investments." 

Home Leasing CEO Bret Garwood said, "The Gardens at Penfield Square brings 114 much-needed affordable apartments for seniors to Penfield. Thank you to our partners Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the Town of Penfield, and many more who helped make this community possible." 

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, "Affordable housing options for our seniors is vital for their longevity and independence — that's what makes the 114 apartments at the Gardens of Penfield Square a wonderful addition to our community. These safe, energy efficient homes are just steps or a short drive from much-needed amenities. I have no doubt residents of Monroe County will enjoy calling this facility 'home.'"

Town Supervisor Anthony LaFountain said, "Penfield Square is the first project in the town's mixed use development zoned properties along the Rt. 250 corridor. We look forward to them being a benchmark center of excellence for our community and their residents."

State Senator Samra Brouk said, "We continue to work at the state level to ensure that our communities have supportive housing options available at all income levels, and I thank Governor Hochul for prioritizing the completion of this project at the Gardens at Penfield Square. This space will be home to more than one hundred apartments for seniors living with low incomes, and its strategic location will allow for its residents to access local amenities. We will look for new opportunities to provide affordable housing for New York's aging population."

Assemblymember Jennifer Lunsford said, "The Gardens at Penfield Square is a much needed and welcomed addition to our community. From low cost housing units to energy efficient buildings and multiuse outdoor greenspace for all neighbors to use. The onsite services for aging residents and proximity to the Eastside YMCA programs will help fill a critical need in our community as well. We are proud to support this important development that will serve all of our residents with varying needs and foster community building in a cost effective and energy efficient way."

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward  

Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.