Omni to Launch 350 Affordable Housing Units in Albany’s South End

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorAlbany, N.Y.–In its efforts to revitalize Albany’s South End, Omni Housing Development Inc., a developer, financer, constructor and manager of affordable housing, has announced plans to build 350 affordable multi-housing units in the next 10 years.The project, which will be executed in five phases over the next decade, provides residents with both rental and lease-to-own properties featuring apartments and townhouses ranging from one to four bedrooms. The combined budget for the first two phases, which are expected to be complete by April 2009, is $22 million.“Our real initiative is not just to produce affordable housing but also to create a revitalization of this very distressed urban neighborhood,” says Duncan Barrett, COO of Omni Housing Development.Monthly payments will range from $325 to $975, and those who choose the lease-to-own program can own the property after 12 to 15 years without further debt.“We are trying to promote this a higher percentage of ownership and investment on the part of residents in this neighborhood,” states Barrett.The units will feature the highest efficiency HVAC systems, windows and Energy Star appliances.Phase I includes 52 units and is due for completion in September 2008. Construction on Phase II is set to begin in June 2008, with an expected addition of 44 units by April 2009. The 96 units from phases I and II will bring newly rehabilitated low-income homes to Morton Avenue and Clinton and Broad Streets.Funding for the project is coming from the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal’s Housing Trust Fund, federal tax credits allocated by NYS DHCR, Keybank NA, Key Community Development Corporation and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.