SARANAC LAKE – Local affordable housing leaders, state lawmakers and state housing commissioners gathered at the Lake Flower Apartments on Thursday to celebrate the completion of a renovation in the skyscraper, making it safer and more energy efficient for residents, and turning the brick facade into a smoother one.
Lake Flower Apartments is managed by the Harrietstown Housing Authority. The $ 2.1 million renovation of the 78-unit tower was funded through a combination of public and private funding.
The project reconstructed the facade of the building, improved energy efficiency and beautified the streetscape.
“While the old brick facade … had no role in supporting the structure, two engineering studies identified several problems” HHA Executive Director Sarah Clarkin said.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded HHA $ 814,211 through its emergency and natural disaster investment fund reserve. UNHCR provided a block community development grant of $ 525,500 for the rehabilitation of housing.
“UNHCR’s CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Award of $ 525,000 is an investment in Lake Flower Apartments and strengthens revitalization efforts already underway in Saranac Lake.” said UNHCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “By preserving affordable housing in the north of the country, we are helping the region’s economy rebound and grow.
Clarkin said UNHCR’s contribution is a “Vote of confidence in Saranac Lake social housing”.
HHA provided $ 373,000. The City of Harrietstown contributed $ 100,000.
“The city council recognized the need and the value of the Housing Authority and wanted to support the Lake Flower Apartments project” Harrietstown supervisor Mike Kilroy said. “The Board of Directors voted to sponsor CDBG’s funding request and also voted to contribute $ 100,000 to the effort.”
“The restoration of the Flower Lake frontage solved a problem which, if neglected, would have threatened the health and safety of residents” HHA board chairman James Connolly said.
Last year, a government-funded $ 720,000 project through UNHCR renovated the Helen Hill Apartments in Saranac Lake, preserving 12 affordable apartments for families in the two-building complex, which was relocated at the Adirondack Housing Development Corporation. The Harrietstown Housing Authority also upgraded HHA’s Algonquin Apartments last year with six new roofs; a new system of indoor and outdoor security cameras; and other energy efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures.
“Affordable housing helps ensure a better quality of life for many people in Adirondack communities,” State Senator Dan Stec, R-Queensbury said. “These renovations and upgrades… would otherwise be unaffordable for Saranac Lake and Harrietstown. “
“Across the north of the country, there is a lack of affordable housing available, and the housing that does exist often deteriorates,” said State Congressman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake. “The renovations to the Lake Flower Apartments along with the previous renovations to the Helen Hill Apartments and Algonquin Apartments in Saranac Lake will help maintain affordable housing options in the area.”
“Improvements to the Helen Hill Apartments will improve the quality of life for residents and improve the neighborhood,” Adirondack Housing Development Corporation chairman Allen Dunham said.
According to HHA, it provides households eligible for income with affordable, clean and safe housing. Residents have the opportunity to become independent and improve their quality of life. It is supervised by HUD.
HHA administers two programs, the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs. Together, the HHA can help 248 families.