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ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Albany County was awarded $ 1,389,890 in grant funding from New York State Homes and Community Renewal to expand housing and mental health. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES funding will provide $ 1 million to Albany County Land Bank for affordable homeownership opportunities in Albany’s South End and $ 389,890 to improve mental health services for those most affected by COVID.
“Today’s announcement is good news for Albany County and especially for the communities in the county that have been hardest hit by COVID,” said County Director Daniel P. McCoy. “We need to address the issues of mental health and affordable housing, and New York State is a great partner in that effort. I would like to thank Governor Hochul and NYSHCR Commissioner Visnauskas for this crucial financial support that will help us. to continue to overcome the pandemic and promote justice in Albany County. ”
The housing finance will go to Albany County Land Bank to fully rehabilitate three two-unit housing developments in the South End neighborhood. The buildings are located at 45 Second Avenue, 48 Second Avenue and 50 Second Avenue and are owned by Albany County Land Bank.
Once fully rehabilitated, Albany County Land Bank will market each of the properties for sale to underserved and vulnerable low-to-moderate income populations that have been hardest hit by COVID. Landbanken will seek to pair qualified buyers with available financial and educational resources designed to help more low-income families and individuals achieve the dream of home ownership.
“This grant is another important and welcome addition to our ongoing efforts to reverse the enormous and disproportionate damage that decades of discriminatory policies and practices have caused to historic red neighborhoods and their residents,” said Adam Zaranko, CEO of Albany County Land Bank. . “With this grant, we will be able to finally stop the damage from these vacant buildings and turn them into affordable housing that will create stability for both residents and the surrounding neighborhood. We thank the State of New York, the Albany County Executive and the Albany County Legislature for their continued partnership as we work together to help our community recover from the pandemic. “
The mental health funding will support four programs to strengthen the mental health system in Albany County. The programs include:
- A dedicated social worker and peer advocate for working with people who have high needs or are very users of emergency services;
- A caseworker to increase client engagement for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program;
- Extended support for mental health in rural counties; and
- Additional support for the county’s alternative mental health-related emergency response team (known as ACCORD).
“This funding of the Community Development Block Grant Care Act will help continue our efforts to make our neighborhoods a place where all residents can live and thrive. We are always looking for opportunities to invest in Albany County, especially when “will increase the proportion of homeowners and create comprehensive, strategic plans for dealing with mental health. The Albany County Legislative Assembly looks forward to building stronger and more resilient communities and seeing the impact of this funding,” said Albany County Legislative Assembly Chairman Andrew Joyce.
“Investing in housing stock is crucial to the revitalization of our neighborhoods. Second Ave is a major thoroughfare in the historic South End of the city of Albany. It deserves the attention these funds will bring to a community that has been marginalized for decades.” is right in seeing this path in an attempt to provide access to quality housing at affordable prices to current and future residents.This is an investment in the sustainability of a historic community.I expect this investment will serve as a catalyst for to generate additional personal and business investment in this deserved neighborhood, ”said Albany County Attorney Carolyn McLaughlin.
“I’m grateful to the county administration for providing funding in the fight against disease as well as a key investment in innovative mental health programs such as LEAD and ACCORD,” said Albany County lawmaker Matthew Peter. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to create systematic change in order to invest in traditionally underserved communities and to properly fund mental health services.”