Neighbors Address Need Collectively
In 2018 neighbors investing their time and resources spoke up at a 2018 community event advocating for equitable investment of public resources in their neighborhood, namely around housing and playgrounds. The neighborhood is Troy’s Hillside North, bordered by Ingalls Avenue on the north; 11th Street on the east; Hoosick Street on the south; and Fifth Avenue on the West. It’s not far from Unity House’s community resource center, the Front Door, located at the base of Hoosick Street. Also nearby, is TRIP’s office on River Street.
TRIP & Unity House responded to this call. Together with NYS HCR, Redstone Equity Partners, NBT Bank, MM Development Advisors, the Leviticus Fund, SWBR, and others, they are developing 8 new construction homes in a $20 million project. This work will result in 51 units of housing across scattered sites, creating housing stock that is affordable to households making between 50-60% of the area median income (AMI). The median income was $68,681 in 2017 for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Area. The investment is the result of TRIP and Unity House working to leverage private investment, tax credits and public funding to enable the neighbors’ vision to move forward.
Christine Nealon, Executive Director of TRIP, explained, “There is a long list of investor partners who have partnered on this community investment but the neighborhood leaders who expressed this vision and inspired us to work together are the true heroes in this story.”
TRIP and Unity House have worked alongside community stakeholders to ensure the buildings fit the neighborhood aesthetic while filling a need and building a balanced and strong community.
As per Unity House’s Chris Burke, who described the project as unique since it’s not just one location, the work is part of an effort to ‘re-knit’ the fabric of the Hillside neighborhood by filling in vacant lots and eliminating deteriorating buildings that can’t be saved: “In response to neighborhood need, this in-fill project is focused on demolishing blight and improving the livability and streetscape of the neighborhood.”
The eight identified sites are 479 Tenth St., 30 11th St., 534 Eighth St., 506 Eighth St., 313 Ninth St., 285 Ninth St., 69 Rensselaer St. and 22 Vanderheyden St., according to board agendas. The locations are owned by TRIP or Unity House. TRIP acquired 69 Rensselaer St. from the Troy Community Land Bank. Heather King, who leads the land bank board, said, the site is now a vacant lot.
The 313 Ninth St. site includes three parcels: 309, 313 and 315 Ninth St. The 22 Vanderheyden St. site includes the three parcels: 2436, 2442 and 2446-2448 Fifth Ave., that border the intersection with Vanderheyden Street. The other sites are single parcels.
For more information on this and other Unity House programs, please reach out to Diane Cameron Pascone, Director of Development, at (518) 274-2607 x4133.