GENESEO — The Village of Geneseo is considering a proposal by a Rochester-based branch of a not-for-profit to build ‘supportive housing’ on Megan Drive.
That organization, DePaul, is investigating the possibility of building 56 one-bedroom apartments and 4 two-bedroom units off of Megan Drive near the plaza containing Country Max and Goodwill, targeting ‘professionals who are unable to find housing due to the local student housing push.”
“It would be subsidized housing,” said Hatheway. “They are very proud of the parcel they developed in the past in terms of selecting the tenants. There are extensive background checks, a crime-free, drug-free addendum to their leases, on-site manager and they have what they call an on-site housing specialist to help people with some of their issues.”
Hatheway said that whether the project will go forward depends wholly on funding from higher government. DePaul is competing with another housing development proposal, CDS designed for senior tenants, for the same grant. Only one will receive the grant funding this year, but more grants may become available in the future.
“This is all depends on funding, whether its federal or state,” said Hatheway. “The Town has another possible complex, CDS, which would be senior housing. DePaul considers it highly unlikely that both CDS and DePaul would be funded and CDS is ahead of curve since they have already been past the Town Planning Board and dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s so to speak.”
Hatheway pointed out that there are 10 multi-apartment apartment complexes in the Village. Of these, five are subsidized housing. He added that the complex, if built, could contribute significantly more to the Village tax base than the current lot.
“This has the potential to generate about $13,000 for the tax base,” said Hatheway. “Right now, the lot produces $600 or $700, something like that.”
Not everyone thinks that the apartment complex is a good idea. Hatheway did mention that several village residents are concerned that subsidized housing will bring more drugs and crime.
“The only thing that concerns me is that were rushing to judgment,” said Village Trustee Sandra Brennan. “We need to review this information through the planning board process.”
The Village took no formal action on the proposition Monday night. DePaul will present to the Geneseo Planning Board in early December.
In a later phone interview, Gillian Conde, Vice-President of DePaul Properties, laid out the details of what is being proposed, saying that the biggest hurdle for projects like this is the preconceived idea that they would bring in community problems.
“This is for decent people that want to live in a decent place,” said Conde. “Residents are subject to a full background check. There will be no sex offenders or people with violent criminal histories, or histories of forged instruments, terrorism, bad credit or eviction.”
Conde said that potential tenants would not be able to make more than 60 percent of the Livingston County annual median income, meaning one person cannot earn more than $28,740 and a family of four cannot earn more than $41,040. DePaul has the right to refuse applicants at their properties based on the above listed criteria, and does not plan to make apartments available to students.
She specifically said that ‘Megan Dr. Apartments’ is not a public housing project and is not Section 8 building. Megan Dr. Apartments would accept financial housing vouchers including Section 8 and VASH for Veterans.
Conde said that the complex will include several monitoring features to make the tenants and surrounding community as safe as possible.
There will be 100 security cameras on the grounds and 24-7 staff and front desk coverage, all hired from the local community,” said Conde.
All tenants must sign a drug and crime free addendum. Leases are terminated if breached.
Of the apartments, about half of the units would meet the standards for accessibility by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to support persons with mobility issues.
“The target is 50 percent of units to meet ADA standards to support people with physical disability and mobility issues,” said Conde. “We are seeing tons of issues for people with mobility issues who need places to live.”
One bedroom apartments would be $650 dollars a month.
According to their website, accessible here, DePaul is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1958 that provides services in addiction prevention and support, affordable housing, mental health residence, Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS), senior living communities, support programs and vocational programs.