News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Low-Income Housing

Oneonta’s Housing Problem Sparks Debate in Council Committee Meeting

Is Additional Affordable

Housing Needed In City?

Council Committee Asks

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Melissa Nicosia, left, who chairs Common Council’s Community Development Committee, and Council member Michelle Frazier question an OFO proposal for affordable housing. ( photo)

ONEONTA –  A $10,000 Opportunities for Otsego proposal to determine the need for low- and moderate-income housing in the city and how to fill it met skepticism from a Common Council committee last night.

Still, the Community Development Committee forwarded the proposal for discussion by the full Common Council, which next meets at 7 p.m. this coming Tuesday.

OFO Housing Director Audrey Benkenstein said her organization is seeking $5,000 from the city to match the $5,000 OFO would provide.  The idea is to underwrite “a process done by a facilitator” who would examine housing information and analysis done an Otsego County housing study just on Oneonta.

Oneonta Heights Cuts Ribbon On Latest Housing Complex

Oneonta Heights Cuts Ribbon

On $15.9M Housing Complex

Cutting the ribbon on this afternoon’s grand opening of Housing Visions’ latest apartment complex, Oneonta Heights, are, from left, Darren Scott of New York State Homes & Community Renewal; state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford; Rebecca Newman, Housing Visions president/CEO; Mayor Gary Herzig; tenants Christina, Romello, and Jayda Drayton and Wesley Hunter, Jim Wright and Czhaira Simpauco; Ben Lockwood, Housing Visions, and Andrew D’Agostino, Community Preservation Corps. The $15.9 million complex features 60 units for families and seniors and even has its own bus route. “This is the first step in addressing our housing problem.” said Mayor Herzig.  “Seventy five percent of families in Oneonta pay over 30 percent of their income on housing, and that is not sustainable.” (Ian Austin/
Home Sweet Home!

Home Sweet Home!

Oneonta Heights Now Accepting Applications
Courtney Moteyunas, Housing Visions regional property manager, shows Christina Drayton, Jesse Hunter and their children, Jayda, Romello and Wesley, around their future home at Oneonta Heights, where an open house is ongoing until 3 p.m. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

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.”

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