Affordable senior housing coming to Guilderland

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

The Guilderland Town Board in 2017 approved a plan for a senior facility on New Karner Road that offers assisted living and memory care, among other amenities. This week, the board set a date to amend the local law that created the facility. If approved, the amendment will create 86 affordable apartments.

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland is slated for 86 affordable senior-housing apartments.

The town board on Tuesday scheduled a public hearing for its next meeting, on June 15, to amend Local Law 7 of 2017, which established the planned unit development for Pine Bush Senior Living at 24 New Karner Road.

The change being proposed is replacing 96 independent housing units with 86 mixed-income, affordable senior-housing units, that will consist of 74 one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units.

The narrative included with the board’s agenda said the apartments will be  “targeted to households” whose incomes are from 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.

Albany County’s average median income is $64,535, according to the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, while Guilderland’s is $81,835, and the four-county Capital Region median income is $68,753. New York State’s is $68,486, according to the Census Bureau.

Prior to making the switch to affordable housing, monthly rent at the independent-living facility was estimated to start at $2,900, The Enterprise reported in 2019

The plan at the time was to break ground on the independent-living facility in late 2019, then six to nine months later, begin construction on assisted-living and memory-care facilities. 

When first presented, in 2015, Pine Bush Senior Living was presented as a 72-bed assisted-living facility; 48-bed memory-care facility; 96-unit independent-living facility; with a resource and educational center. 

The development was to be located on the front 11 acres of a 51-acre parcel, with the remaining acreage being donated to the Pine Bush Preserve.

“These are financed through the state,” Supervisor Peter Barber said this week, through its New York Homes and Community Renewal Program.

“You may have read that the state is really trying to push more affordable senior housing options out there,” Barber said. “This is the program that they're primarily using.”

Councilwoman Laurel Bohl’s concern was that the previous proposal was a continuum-of-care facility. 

“It used to have a certain number of apartments; a certain number of assisted care; and a certain number of nursing home units,” Bohl said, “So that you could be in that one facility, and as you age, you could be moved” from one part of the facility “to another part.”

Barber cut off Bohl and said, “This is only changing the independent-living aspect of it,” and is now taking into consideration a tenants’ income and reiterated the number of units would be dropping from 96 to 86.

The “transitional aspect” of the proposal is still there, Barber said.

“But again, I want to make it absolutely clear: The site plan itself is not changing,” he said. 

More Guilderland News

  • Guilderland since January has been looking for additional proof from Crossgates Mall that its property “is not income-producing,” a request Guilderland first made in October of last year in its response to the mall’s August 2020 court filing seeking to cleave its $282.5 million assessed value in half.

  • State Senator George Amedore, a Republican who did not seek re-election in 2020, sponsored a $700,000 grant for improvements to Tawasentha Park while Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy backed a $375,000 grant that will pay for bike paths, better sound at the senior center, and an upgraded platform at the Altamont library.

  • Crossgates Mall filed an Article 7 petition against the town in July of last year, seeking a $139 million reduction on its $282.5 million tax assessment.

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