(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David on Wednesday joined officials from Family Enrichment Network at the corner of Liberty and Virgil streets to announce details of a 19-unit, multi-million dollar homeless housing project on the City’s North Side.
“Two years ago, this corner was home to some of the worst blight in Binghamton, with badly dilapidated buildings attracting crime and hampering the comeback of a neighborhood,” said Mayor Richard C. David. “Now, the vacant lots where the eyesores once stood will turn into much-needed housing for some of our most vulnerable residents, building on the momentum happening across the North Side. This project will help address our community’s shortage of supportive housing for homeless individuals — the kind of housing that provides direct access to the resources to help with the significant and lasting consequences of homelessness.”
Family Enrichment Network will construct a two-story building with 19 units of permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness. The 12,000 square-foot project will serve homeless families and individuals, including young adults under 25, victims of domestic violence, veterans and individuals with developmental disabilities.
In addition to housing, Family Enrichment Network will provide support services for residents on site, including case management; rental assistance; adult literacy courses; financial literacy classes; legal advocacy; transportation; and parenting education/classes.
“We are very excited to have been approved for funding by New York State both through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and through the Homeless Housing Assistance Program,” said Darrell Newvine, Family Enrichment Network Executive Director. “We are committed to meeting the needs of those we serve and the community at large. We are thankful for the support from our community partners and the City of Binghamton. We look forward to this project and anticipate an opening in the fall of 2019.”
“Just over 280 families accessed emergency shelter in Binghamton last year and several hundred more needed to double up with other households just to keep a roof over their heads,” said Rebecca Rathmell, Southern Tier Homeless Coalition Coordinator. “Any community’s strongest defense against homelessness is to ensure that local housing options include those most vulnerable among us. This project is a significant step toward providing not only a safe, decent, affordable home for many of our neighbors in dire need but also the support necessary for each to move toward self-sustaining independence as valued members of this community. The Southern Tier Homeless Coalition was proud to support Family Enrichment Network’s proposal and is grateful for the commitments made by Mayor David and other partners that resulted in this award.”
The project’s proximity to the City’s Lee Barta Community Center at 108 Liberty St., operated by the United Way of Broome County, will allow for additional program delivery for residents.
“United Way of Broome County is excited about the strong partnership the City of Binghamton has with their community partners,” said Jacqueline Gerchman, Executive Director, United Way of Broome County. “The positive changes on the North Side of Binghamton demonstrate collaborative efforts to create a more vibrant, stronger Broome County. The Healthy Lifestyles Coalition at the Lee Barta Center is an example of creating positive energy in Broome County. We are looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition.”
The project is being built on seven City-owned vacant parcels at the intersection of Virgil and Liberty streets.
Blighted property demolitions cleared the parcels for redevelopment. The City demolished eyesores at 29 and 31 Virgil St. in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The Broome County Land Bank knocked down 128 Liberty St. in 2016.
“This project is a great example of our strategy in demolishing blight clusters and consolidating properties for redevelopment,” said Mayor David.
The $4.2 million project is supported by a $4.1 million grant from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Homeless Housing Assistance Program and $100,000 from City of Binghamton HOME funding. The service and operating funding is provided by the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI).
The project is expected to break ground in the summer of 2019.
— 30 —