Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A plan to build 51 new affordable housing units in Syracuse kicked off Monday, as Common Council approved certain tax exemptions for the project.
The largest proposed unit would be located at the old Ryan Brewery site on the city’s Northside.
The brewery building was demolished in May, leaving an empty lot. Housing Visions of Syracuse hopes to build 20 of those 51 affordable units at the site, helping the need for quality housing, along with cleaning up the look of the area.
“About three-quarters of our city’s population qualifies for affordable housing, but the amount of really good quality affordable housing is really limited,” said Dominic Ross, Director of NorthsideUP.
Northside advocates support turning the lot into a 20 unit affordable housing complex with commercial space on the first floor, which has been proposed by Housing Visions of Syracuse. The organization has already built more than 1,000 affordable housing units across Central New York.
“Our mission is continued neighborhood sustainable revitalization, so we can’t just build one project and stop. We have to keep going and going, until the neighborhood gets to where it needs to be,” said Housing Visions’ Development Director Patrick Stanczyk.
According to those working on the project, many teachers in the area, nursing students and people who work at places like Saint Joseph’s Hospital qualify for affordable housing, but have a hard time finding good quality homes. Fixing up buildings that have been vacant for years would immediately address that need.
“We're talking about people who really make our neighborhood great, but right now often have difficulty finding housing they can afford that's actually decent. This is a way to keep them here, keep them productive and not have to worry about slum landlords,” explained Stanczyk.
An old orphanage building would add an additional nine housing units; another 20 would be build on the Southside. Each unit built would have up to four bedrooms.
Housing Visions is also applying for funding through the state. The entire project is expected to cost $13.5-million.