By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Christina Drayton and her family got their first tour of their new apartment today as Housing Visions hosted an open house of its latest housing project, Oneonta Heights at 4 Monroe Ave.
“I am in love with it,” said Drayton. “The kids have already picked out their rooms. I’ve let them each pick some wall stickers for their bedrooms but the rest of the decorating will be done by me! I’ve got lots of plans for the house already. I know exactly what I want it to look like and I’ve been doing lots of research and online shopping. I’ve even been learning how to secure aluminium doors for your patio since I’ve wanted sliding doors for ages. I can’t wait to move in and get the ball rolling!”
The Heights, part of Housing Visions’ 60 new units of affordable housing, will feature eight townhouse-style apartments with three bedrooms each, scheduled to open in April. “How many people get to say they’ve moved into a brand-new apartment?” said Courtney Moteyunas, assets manager for the Syracuse-based company. “These apartments have a really upscale feel for affordable housing.”
Each unit has private basement access, a small yard, one-and-a-half bathrooms, and three bedrooms upstairs. “People have been telling us how great it is to be able to have something brand new that they can afford,” said Moteyunas.
Renters must fill out an application, which includes a criminal and credit background check and income requirements. There is a minimum and maximum income level, but the units are not just limited to people currently living in the Oneonta area. “We’ve had people call from Sidney and Bainbridge asking if we would rent to them so they could move here,” she said. “If you want to live here, we want you to come live here!”
The base price of the townhouses is $660, plus utilities. “There’s a short wait list for the other properties, but right now, only one of the Oneonta Heights apartments has been rented,” she said. “We want to get people in these apartments.”
The Syracuse-based company identified Oneonta as needing affordable housing and began construction in February 2016. “Our mission is to revitalize neighborhoods,” said Moteyunas. “People need good housing.”
In November, Housing Visions opened its first Oneonta building, with four two-bedroom units at 34 West St. Since then, it’s opened one building a month; in December, two three-bedroom units at 38 West St,, in January, four one-bedroom units at 23-25 Columbia St. and in February, two two-bedroom units in the rehabilitated building at 63-65 Spruce St.
“All 12 units were rented within the first month we had them,” said Moteyunas. “We had one family just crying because they had been in public housing and were so happy they were able to move into this brand new apartment with a porch.”
And in May, Moteyunas expects the 40 units of senior housing will be open along the Silver Creek site. The majority of those apartments will be one-bedroom, with elevator access, a common room and office space. Applications for both properties are available at the open house.