Saranac Lake’s Downtown Revitalization Program

AUDIO – 070913 – Saranac Lake Downtown Revitilzation Program

Saranac Lake’s Village Board has approved a request from the Community Development Office to move forward with three applications for grants which could provide owners of downtown buildings with as much as 75% of the capital to create or rehabilitate rental apartments in the upper floors of those structures.

The Main Street Revitalization Program in Saranac Lake is designed to support redevelopment of commercial buildings in the downtown area in a way that maintains retail activities on the ground floor and creates or rehabilitates rental apartments on the upper floors of those structures. That can be accomplished with a combination of resources including federal and state funding that will be available through the village and cash that will be contributed by each property owner. In buildings where old apartments still exist, they can be rehabilitated with a modest investment of public or private resources. However, where the upper floors have been empty or unused for several years, a larger investment will be needed to create new apartments; and that will require a combination of funding from public and private sources. If enough interested property owners can be identified, the Village Board will consider applications for funding from three different sources that can be used to support Main Street Revitalization activities in Saranac Lake, as outlined below:

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program:

CDBG funds can be used to pay for redevelopment costs for the rental apartments to be created under this program up to a maximum of $30,000 per housing unit. Half of the CDBG financing will be structured as a grant that is not repaid if the owner complies with all program requirements during a ten year regulatory period; half will be structured as a loan that is repaid with interest at 3% APR over the same ten year term. The CDBG loan will be subordinate to any private financing that is required for the project.

Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program:

HOME funds can be used to pay for redevelopment costs for the rental apartments to be created under this program up to a maximum of$30,000 per housing unit. In some cases, the HOME financing is limited to 75% of the eligible expenses and the property owner must  contribute cash to cover 25% ofthe rehabilitation cost and all expenses including inspection fees, filing fees and other project-related soft costs. All apartments must be rented to tenants with household income less than 60% of the median and rents that do not exceed the limits established by HUD for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. The HOME financing will be structured as a deferred payment loan which will not be repaid as long as the property owner complies with all program requirements for ten years after the work is completed.

New York Main Street (NYMS) Program:

NYMS grants can be used to pay 75% of the cost of eligible improvements (up to $50,000) for each building and $10,000 for each housing unit) including facade improvements as well as work in the commercial area on the ground floor and work in the apartments on the upper floors. Matching funds must be provided to cover at least 25% of the project cost.


Applicable to Franklin County in New York Slate (Effective October, 2012)

0 Bedroom – $526 / month

1 Bedroom – $530 / month

2 Bedroom – $682 / month

3 Bedroom – $981 / month

4 Bedroom – $1,085 / month

The Rent Limits listed above are 100% of the Fair Market Rents (FMR) established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. They apply to gross rents, including shelter rent and the cost of utilities (except telephone) that are paid by the tenant in qualified apartments. These figures are adjusted annually based on Census data updated by random digit dialing (RDD)

telephone surveys and set at the 40th percentile of standard quality rental housing in SI. LawrenceCounty in New YorkState.  For apartments with more than 4 bedrooms, the Rent Limits are calculated by adding 15% to the 4 bedroom Rent Limit for each extra bedroom.

Source: Federal Register, Volume 77, Number 194, October 5, 2012

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