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Springville apartment complex awarded grant

SPRINGVILLE — According to the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, a $567,000 grant was awarded to Conifer Realty LLC, the agency overseeing Springville’s Springbrook Apartments, to renovate that 63-unit apartment complex.

The grant was given on Oct. 16 in conjunction with funds presented to Liberty Affordable Housing Inc. in the amount of $2 million, to help finance Buffalo’s Mariner Towers project, which will also preserve low-income housing units.

“Maintaining affordable housing options for families and seniors is critical,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “This grant funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, totaling over $2.5 million, will help renovate and preserve 350 apartment units in Western New York.”

Conifer Realty Project Director Lisa Kaseman said that the awarded funding will be used to “leverage more state and federal financing within the near future, in order to preserve the existing housing units.”

Springville Mayor William Krebs called the recent grant money “good news for Springville,” adding that the monies will go toward preserving and rehabilitating the local apartments. “That’s their very first source of funding, for a project that’s going to be larger in scope and require more sources of funding,” he said.

The Springbrook Apartments provide housing for low- and very-low-income families and senior citizens. According to the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, renovations are needed to ensure that the building remains available. Kaseman said, “It is anticipated that the renovations would be substantial, however full funding for the rehab is not yet in place. Conifer will be looking for a local, nonprofit partner to complete the financing applications.”

Springbrook Apartments consists of 50 one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom apartments and eight three-bedroom places. While 50 of the units are designated for senior citizens, the remaining apartments are available for families.

Funding for this project will come from the Affordable Housing Program subsidy, tax exempt bond proceeds, interim income, federal tax credit equity, the New York State Housing Finance Agency, the New York State Housing Trust Fund and a deferred developer fee, according to the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

While the project is still in its beginning stages, Krebs said that the rehabilitation of an existing housing structure in the village is “an exciting project for the people of Springville. The development and preservation of housing units, whether apartments or homes, in Springville, is very important to our economic development.”

NBT Bank N.A. and First Niagara Bank, both Home Loan Bank members, submitted the applications for this funding. First Niagara Bank’s application led to the awarding of the monetary designations for the Springville apartment complex. “The need for safe and affordable housing is critical, in these challenging times,” said WNY Market Executive for First Niagara Bank Buford Sears. “First Niagara is proud to support our community in this impactful way.”

Krebs said that the village of Springville “is looking forward to lending any support as a municipality to Conifer Realty and its management, for the rehab of the apartments. This is really good news and obviously it’s an important investment in the future of Springville. It’s great news that they are beginning this.”

According to Kaseman, construction on the apartment complex will most likely not begin until the spring of 2014.

The Springbrook apartment complex is located at 109 North Buffalo St. in Springville.

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