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New Affordable Housing Complex Opens in Rochester

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Canal Commons, a development that converted a historic 19th-century manufacturing facility in Rochester into 123 affordable apartments, including 70 units with on-site support services, is complete.

Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement on Tuesday. In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved over 7,000 affordable homes in Monroe County.

“The completion of Canal Commons brings 123 units of critically needed affordable housing to the heart of Rochester,” Governor Hochul said. “Our investment will help breathe new life into a historic property and deliver new opportunities for lower-income and homeless households who are looking for access to a safe, modern home that includes access to tools and services that will help them thrive.”

Originally constructed in the 19th century for the James Cunningham & Son Company and renovated in the early 20th century to become the Utz and Dunn Shoe Company Building, the five-story, red brick structure functioned as a shoe factory from the 1910s until the 1950s. Renovations maintained the building’s existing industrial character, with many structural columns left exposed and historic finishes maintained. Prior to the recently completed construction, the building had remained vacant for over a decade.

All apartments are affordable to households with incomes up to 60 percent of Area Median Income. 70 apartments include supportive services funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health. Services provided by East House include financial case management, education and employment counseling, peer support, life skills coaching, and social activities.

Located in the Flower City’s Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, the site is less than a mile from Rochester’s Inner Loop, and is also near the city’s Bull’s Head neighborhood, which has been targeted for revitalization by city officials.

Canal Commons was designed to comply with NYSERDA’s Multifamily New Construction Program. Sustainable features include Energy Star appliances, LED lighting, and high-performance windows and insulation.

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