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Federal boost coming to Liberty developments

Alex Kielar
Posted 4/12/24

MONTICELLO — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced over $8 million in loans to Conifer Realty for two Sullivan County HUD-assisted properties on Tuesday, April 9. …

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Federal boost coming to Liberty developments


MONTICELLO — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced over $8 million in loans to Conifer Realty for two Sullivan County HUD-assisted properties on Tuesday, April 9. The funding was announced by HUD’s Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey, Alicka Ampry-Samuel and was awarded through HUD’s Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP). 

The first loan was awarded to Berkley Gardens Apartments in Liberty for $4,080,000 and the second was awarded to Lake View Apartments in Loch Sheldrake for $4,720,000. 

GRRP supports energy efficiency and climate resilience in HUD-assisted affordable housing. Owners can apply through three types of grants: elements, leading edge and comprehensive. Both Berkley Gardens and Lake View received comprehensive grants, which provides funding to properties with the highest need for climate resilience and utility efficiency upgrades. 

“GRRP will make buildings more resilient in severe weather and a changing climate,” said Ampry-Samuel. “The upgrades will preserve affordable housing and provide safer living environments for children and families.”

Grant recipients 

Berkeley Gardens Apartments is a 51-unit apartment building that has a HUD project-based Section 8 contract that assists 50 low-income households. 58 percent of the residents at Barkley Gardens are disabled and 56 percent are elderly. The National Risk Index notes that this property may be at risk of flooding, lightning and increased social vulnerability. 

Lake View Apartments is a 59-unit multifamily building that is under a HUD project-based Section 8 rental assistance contract. The National Risk Index notes that Lake View is an area that may be exposed to riverine flooding and landslide hazards. 

Senior Vice President of Conifer Realty, Kevin Day, said that Conifer is going to combine the two grants of nearly $9 million with other state funding sources to embark on a comprehensive renovation to modernize and revitalize the two communities for residents. 

“Our partner Conifer-LeChase Construction will undertake these renovations,” Day said. “[Those renovations include] installation of new roofs, windows and insulation, upgrading bathrooms and kitchens and implementation of state of the art HVAC systems and solar panels. 

“HUD and Conifer are committed to full electrification and decarbonization at these properties,” Day continued, “which underscores Conifer’s dedication to environmental sustainability across our portfolio.”

Day said that given the substantial design work and financial requirements involved, they anticipate closing on construction financing by June of 2025 and completing construction no later than the end of 2026. 

“It’s a large project that will be almost $15 million worth of construction work,” said Day. 

According to HUD’s press person Olga Alvarez, the owners of Lake View Apartments plan to undertake a detailed retrofit of the property and will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs through energy efficiency measures. 

These steps will help to improve the property’s resiliency to climate hazards. The retrofit will also focus on improving the residents’ quality of life by undertaking green and healthy housing measures. 

Legislature looks to future

Also in attendance at the press conference speaking about the funding were President of Conifer Realty Sam Leone, Conifer Realty Board Member Jeremy Levkoff, HUD Office of Recapitalization GRRP Team Lead Joseph Baietti, District 6 Legislator Luis Alvarez, District 8 Legislator Amanda Ward and Sullivan Director of Communications, Dan Hust, who spoke on behalf of District 1 Legislator and Chair, Nadia Rajsz. 

“Nadia is thrilled as this is a very important issue to her,” Hust said. “A primary concern of the legislature is addressing housing in Sullivan County.”

Ward noted that the funding is personal to her as she was born and raised here. 

“I grew up playing with my friends at Lakeview Apartments,” Ward said. “Hanging out there, sleeping over there, running track practices in the parking lot… Just to know that you care about the quality of life and sustainability because some of these housings are generational.”

Ward thanked the HUD family and said that it is incredible to see the work that they have done. 

“You could take on something like this and you can bring numbers to Sullivan County that we’ve really never seen before,” said Ward. 

After the announcement press conference, Baietti provided an in-depth presentation on GRRP and responded to owners’ questions. The presentation allowed those owners who are interested in applying for GRRP funding an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the program. 


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