MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon is looking to build new affordable housing and upgrade its existing stock with money from the federal government, said Community Development Administrator Louis Albano.
Mount Vernon was given $1.7 million by the federal government in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for 2012. The city is planning to allocate $647,000 from its grant to rehabilitate housing for low- and moderate-income people. That could include the construction of 159 affordable rental units. The city is also planning to spend another $55,419 to develop new affordable housing units.
“The majority of the housing stock was built before 1977, if not 1970, so a lot of it is older and has started to fall into disrepair,” Albano said. “A lot of landlords are not able to meet the demands of the repairs in the building due to the state of the economy. We try to help out with the necessary upgrades because health and safety always come first.”
Albano said there are projects on the drawing board for affordable housing, and that the city has been working with various developers for affordable housing on Gramatan Avenue near Hartley Park.
Any developer who would like to build in Mount Vernon would have to provide a marketing plan to the city and show how the development would accommodate low income residents.
“The city is always committed to building new units for affordable housing,” Albano said. “However, we can say that the needs in this current economy are becoming greater than the dollars provided sometimes.”