“Based on the success of this,” he added, “we’d love to be able to model this elsewhere in the diocese, especially in the rural communities, if possible.”
Christopher Community’s Reicher marveled at the complexity of the project: two owners, four funders, seven consultants and many staff people, and hundreds of hours of effort.
The state showed its support for Riverview with groundbreaking attendees Daniel Buyer, assistant commissioner of New York State Homes & Community Renewal, and Sharon Frisbie, housing specialist with the Office of Mental Health.
Frisbie said Mental Health provided a $3.5 million construction loan for the apartment complex. “Riverview Apartments will allow Catholic Charities to extend their continuum of care to include affordable and supportive housing to the Cortland community,” she said.
Assistant Commissioner Buyer said, “The project complements the Central New York Region blueprint for economic growth, Central New York Rising.”
The Community Preservation Corp.’s regional director for Central and Western New York, Nicholas V. Petragnani, Jr., said his agency is providing the construction financing as well as permanent financing.
Petragnani’s colleague Andrew J. D’Agostino, vice president and mortgage officer, said CPC’s round number for the construction loan is $2.5 million. The permanent loan is for $3,520,000.
“We’re a not-for-profit mortgage lender,” D’Agostino said. “Our mission is to stabilize and enhance neighborhoods through deployment of our capital. And so, we’re able to fulfill mission needs by creating new quality affordable housing.”
Another of the financial contributors, Enterprise Community Investment, was founded over 30 years ago to tackle homelessness. Beth Graham, underwriter with Enterprise, believes in the idea of bringing mental health and housing together.
“Many people have to make a choice between whether they pay the rent or whether they buy medicine,” she said, “whether they pay rent, or whether they buy food. Many people pay over half of their income every month on housing expenses.
“And it never allowed people to advance; it never allows people to feel secure. And that instability can lead to poor health outcomes, as we’re seeing more and more evidence of: poor outcomes for children, poor outcomes for seniors, and certainly for those with chronic conditions like those working to address mental health issues.”