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Posted on: May 27, 2022

City of Albany Announces Funding Recommendations for American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Grant Awards

ARPA Funding Recommendations

 

ALBANY, NY – The City of Albany American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Leadership Team is excited to announce 35 projects have been selected to receive grants from $25 million of federal relief dollars provided to Albany under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

Three quarters of the funding – approximately $18 million – is being awarded for projects that will create affordable housing, affordable homeownership, community spaces and direct services in Albany’s neighborhoods of highest need. The remainder will assist small businesses and the City’s hard-hit arts and tourism organizations with the ultimate goal of creating new jobs, and to projects that support workforce development. 

The City of Albany received nearly 150 proposals for funding that were reviewed by five Results Teams comprised of a cross-section of residents and community leaders. Recommendations from the Results Teams were considered by the City’s ARPA Leadership Team when they selected 63 proposals to move to Phase II that also included a more detailed application process. 

The City of Albany ARPA Leadership Team, comprised of Mayor Kathy Sheehan, City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar, Common Council President Corey Ellis, Common Council Pro Tempore Kelly Kimbrough, Common Council Majority Leader Ginnie Farrell, Commissioner of Administrative Services Rachel McEneny, and Corporation Counsel Marisa Franchini, Esq., then reviewed the 63 Phase II applications, conducted interviews, and are proud to make the following funding recommendations. 

ARPA Funding Recommendations

The City of Albany ARPA Leadership Team said “This pandemic has impacted every corner of our city in a variety of different ways, but one thing has been consistent – the COVID Recovery Task Force demanded we fund highly impactful, transformative proposals using this once-in-a-generation funding. During this process, we heard from organizations and communities, including many that have not traditionally partnered with local government. The nearly 150 applicants underwent an extremely rigorous and competitive application process, and we are very proud to engage with them now as partners in accelerating Albany’s recovery.” 

US Senator Chuck Schumer said, “I want to congratulate Mayor Sheehan and the members of the Leadership Team, Recovery Task Force, and Results Team for their hard work and vision. I fought hard to deliver this direct federal aid to every municipality to replace the lost revenue during the COVID pandemic, prevent layoffs, reward frontline workers, and help communities rebuild as we come out of the crisis. The layoffs were averted. Albany gave essential workers bonus pay. And now they have set the model for how a municipality should disburse aid throughout the community in an open, inclusive, and transparent manner. These projects will create affordable housing, promote business growth, and create jobs, all while making life in neighborhoods throughout the city better.” 

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “This is your federal government at work – a $25 million investment in the great city of Albany delivered by the American Rescue Plan. I fought hard to deliver this funding directly to New Yorkers, and I want to thank Mayor Sheehan and the City of Albany ARPA Leadership Team for helping direct dollars to those who need it most as we continue to recover from the pandemic. I am confident this incredible investment will increase access to quality, accessible, affordable childcare and housing, bolster small businesses, and ensure our state capital continues to thrive.” 

US Congressman Paul Tonko said, “I would like to congratulate Mayor Sheehan, the City of Albany ARPA Leadership Team, the Results Teams, and the Recovery Task Force on the culmination of their hard work selecting these worthy projects to receive funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. When I cast my vote for the American Rescue Plan, direct investments in our communities like these were exactly what I had in mind. These projects will promote economic growth and recovery, build new affordable housing and community services, increase access to critical services, and create new jobs. I am proud to have pushed hard for this game-changing funding, and I am confident these projects will have a great positive impact on the city of Albany and its continuing economic recovery.” 

City of Albany COVID Recovery Task Force Co-Chairs Michael Whalen and Jahkeen Hoke said, “We commend Albany’s Leadership Team for administering an open, inclusive, and transparent process that brought scores of voices to the table to help ensure we are building back better. It is our hope this $25 million in grant awards will make a lasting, transformative impact.”

 

 

Organization

Funding

Project Description

Affordable Housing Partnership

$300,000

The Affordable Housing Partnership will use ARPA funding to establish an Albany Matched Savings Program combined with financial coaching to help residents prepare for homeownership, with a particular focus on addressing Albany’s racial wealth gap. The project will prepare more Albany residents to purchase their first home by assisting first time buyers with a comprehensive financial coaching program that includes a small, matched savings program.

Albany Center Gallery

$75,000

The Albany Center Gallery will use ARPA funding to provide stipends for artists who are Albany residents to support current and new programming to enhance access and exposure to art.

Albany Community Land Trust

$600,000

The Albany Community Land Trust will use ARPA funding to manage the renovation of 12 blighted properties and improvements to vacant lots. ARPA funding will leverage private funding to address the gap between renovation costs of vacant buildings and their market value to ensure that public investments help create more affordable housing in West Hill.

Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau (dba Discover Albany)

$282,280

Discover Albany will use ARPA funding to develop a multi-year Halloween Festival, inspired by Albany's historic Halloween-Dreamland from over a century ago, and marketing around “FALL-bany.” The programming, starting in 2023, will feature public art, community events, dramatic tours, and historical exhibits.

Albany County Historical Association

$332,000

The Albany County Historical Association will use ARPA funding to modernize access to and improve the grounds of the Ten Broeck Mansion’s four acres of historic gardens and museum spaces, frontage on Livingston Avenue, and improved safety and access parking. This project will also expand the current free art kits programs for Arbor Hill residents and tourists.

Albany Housing Authority/Pearl Over Look Corp

$748,000

The Albany Housing Authority and Pearl Over Look Corporation will use ARPA funding to leverage private and other governmental funding for Steamboat Square Revitalization Phase 1, the rehabilitation and preservation of 20 Rensselaer Street, to rehabilitate 51 existing apartments, and create 37 new affordable housing apartments targeted to residents earning up to 50% and 70% of Area Median Income.

Albany Parking Authority

$236,899

The Albany Parking Authority will use ARPA funding to install 17 decorative light poles and enhance lighting at four parking lot locations along Central Avenue (between Henry Johnson Blvd. and Quail St.) and at the Quackenbush parking lot. The project also includes wireless security cameras in partnership with Central Ave BID and the Albany Police Department.

Albany Water Board

$500,000

The Albany Water Board will use ARPA funding to expand its existing grant program to assist homeowners with the cost of lead service replacement including an emphasis on street-wide lead service replacement in historically redlined neighborhoods and neighborhoods identified as Environmental Justice Communities by NYS DEC.

Capital Repertory Theatre

$350,000

Capital Repertory Theatre will use ARPA funding to construct a parking lot on a long-vacant parcel of land in Arbor Hill. The project will transform a field strewn with weeds and garbage into a 44-car parking lot, serving more than 35,000 annual patrons while reducing parking congestion for nearby residents and local businesses. It will also serve as winter snow emergency parking for the Arbor Hill neighborhood.

Capitalize Albany Corporation

$1,100,000

Capitalize Albany Corporation will use ARPA funding to leverage existing state and private funding to redevelop an underutilized site on Clinton Avenue (a key gateway into the Capital Region’s central business district) and transform it into the Clinton Market Collective – a new market concept and proving ground for startup businesses, diverse pop-up retail, installations by local artists, and signature events.

Capitalize Albany Corporation, Downtown Albany BID, and Central Avenue BID

$1,500,000

Capitalize Albany Corporation, the Downtown Albany BID, and the Central Avenue BID will use ARPA funding to provide small business grants and other various avenues of support for small businesses across the City of Albany. Grants will help enhance resiliency, expansion and diversification, and improvements to physical spaces to regain momentum following the pandemic.

CARES of NY, Inc.

$1,975,266

CARES will use ARPA funding to expand the existing platform of the City’s Emergency Solutions Grant funding with a new workforce component. The project will improve the existing prevention, rapid rehousing, and emergency housing programs by linking residents to new workforce supports and funds to reduce barriers to entering and remaining in the workforce as well as providing scholarships for job-related training to improve employment opportunities.

Central District Management Association (Central Avenue BID)

$265,000

Central Avenue BID will use ARPA funding to leverage private and BID funds to develop the second and third floors of the STEAM Garden on Central Avenue. Redevelopment of the currently vacant floors will create a space where businesses can grow, learn, and interact with other businesses in the multi-use, community-based entrepreneurial hub.

City of Albany – West Hill Community Center

$2,000,000

The City of Albany will use ARPA funding to support the design, engineering, purchase of a site, and construction of the West Hill Community Center. The West Hill Community Center will offer a safe and walkable space for a variety of community needs and amenities and will serve as a connector space for community members seeking access to healthcare, employment, senior, and childcare services.

City of Albany – Hoffman Park Recreation Center

$2,000,000

The City of Albany will use ARPA funding to expand and update the second floor of the Hoffman Park Recreation Center. Renovations will include additional community and conference spaces, a teaching kitchen, an expanded gym area and parking, and the use of alternative materials for additional daylight and visibility between spaces – all focused on improving and expanding programming and engagement for residents.

City of Albany – Department of Administrative Services

$400,000

The City of Albany will use ARPA funding to reinvent how the City attracts, engages, and retains employees, focusing on reaching and attracting new and diverse talent to City government through a "Join Albany" recruiting initiative. The program’s primary focus is to recruit City residents and will include improving the City’s “employer brand” to better showcase the City’s mission, values, culture, and personality, with funds used for more robust training initiatives, wellness initiatives, benefits, and team-building exercises.  

Destroyer Escort Historical Museum

$500,000

The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum will use ARPA funding to leverage private and non-profit funding to update the shoreside facilities of USS Slater and Dutch Apple Cruises with new infrastructure that includes a visitor’s center, gift shop, storage, public restrooms, a classroom, and updated safety and security elements. The improvements will help to facilitate programming and provide better connectivity to the Bike Path and the Albany Skyway.

Downtown Albany Business Improvement District

$838,020

The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District will use ARPA funding the develop the Capital Wayfinding Program. This program includes installing new signs and replacing signs that have reached the end of their service life or are no longer legible. The new, cohesive, appealing, expandable wayfinding signage system will make navigation easier for residents and visitors, connecting users to more destinations within Downtown. The program will also include ambassadors through the Schenectady Works and Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless programs, who will be responsible for greeting patrons, answering questions, and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment.

Grand Street Community Arts Inc.

$200,000

Grand Street Community Arts will use ARPA funding to leverage additional funding sources to renovate the organization's 5,000 square foot basement space to create year-round multiuse rooms for community meetings, programming, and services.

Habitat for Humanity Capital District

$3,790,000

Habitat for Humanity Capital District, in partnership with the Albany County Land Bank, will use ARPA funding to advance its efforts to develop 100 new affordable homes located in Qualified Census Tracts (that include the South End, Arbor Hill, and West Hill) and historically redlined neighborhoods in the City of Albany and sell them to qualified, first-time homebuyers. APRA funding will leverage significant private and not-for-profit funding to advance the project’s Phase II and begin Phase III (final phase) efforts quicker than otherwise possible.

Historic Albany Foundation

$50,000

Historic Albany Foundation will use funding to create a new Tool Library in the West Hill Neighborhood, creating an opportunity for residents to borrow and return items as (and when) needed. The project will focus on supporting homeowners with property maintenance to avoid disrepair that can lead to abandoned properties.

Historic Cherry Hill

$143,451

Historic Cherry Hill will use ARPA funding to leverage private and philanthropic capital to increase the accessibility for residents of the South End neighborhood.  Investments will make the site more usable and physically attractive through paving repairs, tree management, picnic tables, and wheelchair access to the house. Historic Cherry Hill will also partner with Albany County Historical Association and the Underground Railroad Education Center to hire a Marketing and Community Engagement Associate to coordinate the needs of all three museums and organize community programming.  

In Our Own Voices

$500,000

In Our Own Voices will use ARPA funding to purchase and renovate a building to expand its effective, evidence-based programs for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (LGBTGNC) individuals with a focus on LGBT People of Color (POC), including the addition of a youth drop-in center and transitional/rehousing for youth and transgender individuals. The new site will also provide space for community partners to deliver culturally relevant services.

Jewish Family Services of Northeastern NY

$626,802

Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York (JFS) will use ARPA funding to expand its programming and establish new supplemental services to support aging well and safely for traditionally marginalized, vulnerable older adults. This program, “Albany InPlace,” will provide cohesive, in-depth services to traditionally marginalized and vulnerable older adults struggling with the challenges of aging with limited resources – including addressing healthcare navigation and social isolation obstacles.

Organization of Adirondack Rowers and Scullers, Inc. dba Albany Rowing Center

$40,000

The Albany Rowing Center will use ARPA funding to upgrade the ramps connecting the shoreline with the docks at the Corning Preserve boat ramp on the Hudson River – better connecting the Albany waterfront and its recreational opportunities to residents and visitors alike.

Park Playhouse, Inc.

$250,000

Park Playhouse Inc. will partner with the City of Albany Department of General Services to use ARPA funding to restore the Washington Park Amphitheatre and continue delivering free theater activities. Updates will prioritize the safety for patrons and passersby.

Parsons Child and Family Center

$1,334,961

Parsons Child and Family Center will use ARPA funding to deliver a community-based Wellness Advocate team to work with residents to identify and resolve immediate social determinants of health conditions. The culturally competent and trauma-informed team will assist residents in remedying identified needs such as housing, food, and financial insecurities through one-on-one engagement and navigation of government, community, human services, and health services.

Pine Hills Neighborhood Association

$50,000

The Pine Hills Neighborhood Association will partner with the City of Albany Department of General Services to use ARPA funding to remove blacktop maintenance strips and install permeable weed-blocking surfaces and decorative hardscape, and plant additional trees in targeted sections of the Pines Hills neighborhood composed primarily of rental properties including Quail Street from Madison to Elberon Place and Hudson Avenue from Ontario Street to South Lake Avenue.

Refugee Welcome Corporation

$70,000

The Refugee Welcome Corporation will use ARPA funding take full ownership of its facility and enhance its ability to provide additional services and programming for residents.

Restaurant Navona

$125,000

Restaurant Navona will use ARPA funding to leverage federal and private funding to provide restaurant workforce training and certification programs for individuals disconnected from the workforce or who may need additional skills to enter the workforce.

Refugee and Immigrant Support Services (RISSE)

$104,000

RISSE will use ARPA funding to expand its own Job Assistance program. RISSE will provide instruction for basic computer skills and help clients learn how to search and apply for jobs. Additionally, RISSE will work with USCRI on a series to introduce how to interview, what to wear, tips on scheduling, and work to identify employers able to hire recent refugees and immigrants who live in the City of Albany.

South End Children's Cafe

$1,000,000

The South End Children’s Cafe will use ARPA funding for capital investments and facility needs to increase the number of children and families it can serve daily.  The funding will leverage other state, private, philanthropic, and not-for-profit funds that help expand the program’s capacity and to provide additional wrap-around services.

South End Partners LLC

$483,321

South End Partners, in collaboration with the Albany County Land Bank Corporation, will use ARPA funding to close the financing gap and support the development of 11 affordable single-family townhomes on 11 vacant parcels of land owned by ACLBC and situated in Qualified Census Tracts that will be marketed to households with income no greater than 80% of the Area Median Income.

Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region Inc

$1,730,000

Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, Inc. will use ARPA funds to leverage other governmental and private funding to make capital investments in its structures to enhance the scope, depth, reach, and coordination of its multiple services.     The improved physical location will assist in the combined delivery of social and clinical care.

Upper Washington Avenue Neighborhood Association (UWANA) & Westland Hills Little League

$500,000

Upper Washington Avenue Neighborhood Association and Westland Hills Little League will use ARPA funding to work with the City of Albany to develop an accessible nature trail and enhance youth baseball and softball fields to improve access to and quality of recreational activities for Albany residents.

 

The Albany Common Council is expected to vote on the slate of recommendations at their regular meeting on Monday, June 6, 2022. 

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law on March 11, 2021, after significant advocacy from across the nation, including by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Paul Tonko. 


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