ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Albany County received $ 1,389,890 in grants from New York State Homes and Community Renewal to expand housing options and mental health support. CARES funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will provide $ 1 million to Albany County Land Bank for affordable homeownership opportunities in South Albany and $ 389,890 to improve mental health services for those most affected by COVID.
“Today’s announcement is great news for Albany County and especially for communities in the county that have been hit hardest by COVID,” County Director Daniel P. McCoy said. “We need to tackle mental health and affordable housing issues head-on, and New York State is a great partner in this effort. I would like to thank Governor Hochul and NYSHCR Commissioner Visnauskas for this crucial financial support that will help us continue to recover from the pandemic and promote fairness in Albany County. ”
Housing funding will go to the Albany County Land Bank to fully rehabilitate three two-unit residential buildings in the South End neighborhood. The buildings are located at 45 Second Avenue, 48 Second Avenue and 50 Second Avenue and are owned by the Albany County Land Bank.
Once fully rehabilitated, the Albany County Land Bank will market each of the properties for sale to underserved and vulnerable low to moderate income populations who have been hit hardest by COVID. The Land Bank will seek to match qualified buyers with available financial and educational resources designed to help more low-income families and individuals realize the dream of homeownership.
“This grant is another important and welcome addition to our ongoing efforts to reverse the enormous and disproportionate damage decades of discriminatory policies and practices have caused to historically marked neighborhoods and their residents,” said Adam Zaranko, Executive Director of the Albany County Land Bank. . “With this grant, we will finally be able to stop the damage caused by these vacant buildings and transform them into affordable housing that will create stability for both the occupants and the surrounding neighborhood. We thank New York State, the Albany County Executive and the Albany County Legislature for their continued partnership as we collectively work to help our communities recover from the pandemic. “
The mental health funding will support four programs aimed at strengthening the mental health system in Albany County. The programs include:
- A dedicated social worker and peer advocate to work with people who have high needs or who use emergency services a lot;
- A case manager to increase client engagement for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program;
- Increased mental health support in rural county communities; and
- Additional support to the County Alternative Mental Health Crisis Response Team (known as ACCORD).
“This funding from the Community Development Block Grant Cares Act will be essential to continue our efforts to make our neighborhoods a place where all residents can live and thrive. We are always on the lookout for opportunities to invest in Albany County, especially when it comes to increasing homeownership rates and creating comprehensive strategic plans to tackle health. mental. The Albany County Legislature looks forward to building stronger, more resilient communities and seeing the impact of this funding, ”said Albany County Legislature Speaker Andrew Joyce.
“Investing in the housing stock is vital for the revitalization of our neighborhoods. Second Ave is a major thoroughfare in the historic southern end of the city of Albany. It deserves the attention these funds will bring to a community marginalized for decades. The county executive is right to look at it this way in an attempt to provide access to affordable, quality housing for current and future residents. It is an investment in the sustainability of a historic community. I expect this investment will serve as a catalyst to generate more personal and business investment in this deserving neighborhood, ”said Albany County Lawmaker Carolyn McLaughlin.
“I am grateful to the county executive for providing funding in the fight against the burn as well as key investments in innovative mental health programs like LEAD and ACCORD,” said Matthew Peter, County Legislator of Albany. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to create systematic change to invest in traditionally underserved communities and properly fund mental health services.”