Rye Manor gets green funding

Rye-Manor-3

The county’s Industrial Development Agency will provide $12 million in tax-exempt bond financing to rehabilitate Rye Manor, a senior housing facility, and another $12 million to renovate an affordable housing complex in White Plains. File photo

By LIZ BUTTON
Senior low-income housing complex Rye Manor has been approved to receive half the funds needed to install a host of green building improvements, a grant made possible through the county’s Industrial Development Agency program.

Earlier this month, the IDA approved two resolutions that will provide $24 million in tax-exempt bond financing to rehabilitate Rye Manor and to renovate an affordable housing complex for families in White Plains.

“These plans will provide healthier and safer homes for Westchester families, preserve affordable housing for those who need it most, while at the same time, do our part to help the environment,” said County Executive Robert Astorino, a Republican.

Both projects will create numerous construction jobs and utilize “green building” technologies to improve energy efficiency, all at no financial risk to county taxpayers, he said.

When a corporation or small company applies to the Westchester IDA for funding, repaying the
financing loan rests solely with the organization, according to county officials. Companies must meet certain state and federal guidelines in order to qualify for
IDA funding.

To function, Rye Manor—a 100-unit property located at 300 Theall Road—receives subsidies from the federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, which gives the money directly to the property owner, allowing the owner to then charge lower rent for its low-income occupants.

The complex for seniors has an income ceiling; single residen­ts
cannot earn more than $26,700
a yea­r, while couples have an income limit of $30,500.

The rehabilitation work proposed by Rye Manor LLC will cost $23 million, $12 million of which will be financed through the county. The yearlong project will also create 75 construction jobs, according to county
officials.

The renovations, which will begin in November, is designed to address the long-term durability of the building’s major systems, in terms of both sturdiness and environmental
sustainability.

Some of these “green building” measures include replacing light fixtures in all apartments and throughout the building with Energy Star-rated fixtures, while replacing all existing sliding windows with new argon gas-filled, dual-glazed, double-hung units.

The IDA funding will also allow Rye Manor to replace the refrigerators and stoves in all apartments with new Energy Star-rated appliances and to
replace all roof-top kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans with versions outfitted by Energy Star.

Rye Manor will also put in new boilers that feature Energy Star-rated equipment, and install a new Energy Star-rated trash compactor.

The four-story building was built around 30 years ago by a local interfaith council that started a non-profit housing corporation with the goal of providing affordable housing to
local residents.

Executive Vice President of Rye Manor LLC John Madeo said that around the county, a lot of the buildings originally financed by HUD around 30 years ago had very high interest rates and now that these buildings are older, the nonprofits that run them
do not  have  enough  money  to  keep
them up.

Whether the final renovation project comes to fruition, however, is a matter of timing; three other approvals are needed besides that of the IDA to issue the tax-exempt bonds, including approval from HUD.

Madeo said installing these green improvements was essential, since the new measures will strengthen the longevity of the building’s systems and provide for the comfort of the building’s residents, ultimately saving on energy costs and preserving a great resource for Rye and surrounding communities.

“We simply would not have been able to get this project moving without the IDA financing,” said Madeo. “We will now be able to help a lot of seniors live in healthy, safe and energy efficient homes.”

Contact: liz@hometwn.com