DePaul joined with city, state, public and private partners Thursday to celebrate the opening of the DePaul Rochester View Apartments at an open house for the 61-unit community in Henrietta.
The DePaul Rochester View Apartments are New York state’s first apartment community to offer enhanced supports that accommodate income-eligible tenants who may be deaf, hard of hearing and those using American Sign Language.
The complex features state-of-the-art communication equipment and high-contrast visual design. There are open floor plans with handrails, an elevator accessible from the common area, lighting for high visibility, adaptive equipment, bedrooms wired to allow for bed shakers in case of fire or other emergencies, hard-wired strobe lighting for CO2 and fire alarms, lighted door alarms, video phone and video conferencing capability, controlled secure access, security cameras throughout the campus, signage with Braille markings and an on-site manager fluent in ASL.
Each one- and two-bedroom apartment features a fully-equipped kitchen with a range, refrigerator and microwave, and a wall-mounted flat screen TV including cable service and closed captioning. Heat, hot water and electric are included in the rent and community laundry facilities are available at no cost. There is also individually-controlled heat and air conditioning as well as off-street parking. Tenants have access to a community room, activity room, terrace, sun room and computer room.
The entire building is Wi-Fi accessible, there is a secure storage area for each tenant and fitness equipment is available. The building is 100 percent smoke-free, and optional on-site case management is available.
Partners involved in the project included Christa Construction, DePaul, First Sterling, Monroe County, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, New York State Office of Mental Health, Rochester View Apartments Advisory Board of Professionals, SWBR Architects, P.C., Betts Housing Partners and The Community Preservation Corporation.
“DePaul is pleased to be a community partner providing quality affordable housing options for people in need along with supports that can accommodate persons who may be deaf, hard of hearing and those using ASL,” said DePaul President Mark H. Fuller. “The DePaul Rochester View Apartments are the first of their kind in the state and we are so proud to be part of this pivotal project that will bring so much to this community. The DePaul Rochester View Apartments are an example of progress and partnership in action.”
The $17.6 million project was completed with a $721,000 allocation of low income housing tax credits from New York State Homes and Community Renewal; equity investment by First Sterling; a $4.9 million award from the state Housing Trust Fund Corp.; a State of New York Mortgage Agency insured $5.4 million pension fund permanent loan from the Community Preservation Corp. and a $200,000 award of Urban Initiative Funding. Approximately 200 construction jobs and 30 long-term positions were created as a result of the DePaul Rochester View Apartments.
“Our substantial role in the DePaul Rochester View Apartments is a prime example of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mandate to expand affordable housing opportunities for New Yorkers across the state,” said HCR Commissioner/CEO James S. Rubin. “By working in a true collaborative sense with colleagues in government, private and not-for-profit sectors, this new development is enhancing the quality of life for the persons who may be deaf, hard of hearing or use American Sign Language who call this place home. An added benefit to the larger community is the economic boost through construction jobs and local purchases that were associated with the project.”
DePaul has also partnered with local artists as well as the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to display artwork in the building. The Rochester View Apartments showcase a stained glass piece created by Jacqueline Schertz, a local stained glass artist who is deaf. Randy Dunham, a local artist who is deaf, painted abstract art.
American sculptor Susan Ferrari Rowley created a sculpture featured in the lobby. The DePaul Rochester View Apartments also display photography by professional photographer Janet Cruz. The Deaf Quilt Club generously donated a handmade quilt which welcomes visitors and residents.