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Lake Flower Apartments renovation complete

Lake Flower Apartments now (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — Local affordable housing leaders, state legislators and state housing commissioners gathered at the Lake Flower Apartments Thursday to celebrate the completion of a renovation at the high-rise, making it safer and more energy-efficienct for residents, and turning the brick facade into a smoother one.

Lake Flower Apartments is run by the Harrietstown Housing Authority. The $2.1 million renovation on the 78-unit high-rise was funded through a combination of public and private funding.

The project rebuilt the building’s facade, improved energy-efficiency and beautified the streetscape.

“While the old brick facade … had no role in supporting the structure, two engineering studies identified several problems,” HHA Executive Director Sarah Clarkin said.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded HHA $814,211 through its Capital Fund Reserve for Emergencies and Natural Disasters. HCR awarded a $525,500 Community Development Block Grant for Housing Rehabilitation.

Lake Flower Apartments in 2014 (Photo provided)

“HCR’s $525,000 CDBG housing rehabilitation award is an investment in Lake Flower Apartments and furthers the revitalization efforts already underway in Saranac Lake,” HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said. “By preserving affordable homes in the North Country, we are helping the region’s economy to rebound and grow.”

Clarkin said the HCR’s contribution is a “vote of confidence in Saranac Lake’s public housing.”

HHA provided $373,000. The town of Harrietstown contributed $100,000.

“The town board recognized the need and value of the Housing Authority and wanted to support the project at Lake Flower Apartments,” Harrietstown Supervisor Mike Kilroy said. “The board voted to sponsor the application for CDBG funding and also voted to contribute $100,000 to the effort.”

“The restoration of the Lake Flower facade has addressed a problem which, if neglected, would have threatened the health and safety of residents,” HHA board Chair James Connolly said.

Last year, a $720,000 state-funded project through HCR renovated the Helen Hill Apartments in Saranac Lake, preserving 12 affordable apartments for families in the two-building complex, which was transferred to the Adirondack Housing Development Corporation. The Harrietstown Housing Authority also upgraded the HHA’s Algonquin Apartments last year with six new roofs; a new interior and exterior security camera system; and additional energy-efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures.

“Affordable housing helps assure a better quality of life for many people in communities throughout the Adirondacks,” said state Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury. “These renovations and upgrades … would otherwise be unaffordable for Saranac Lake and Harrietstown.”

“Throughout the North Country, there is a lack of affordable housing available, and the housing that does exist is often deteriorating,” said state Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake. “The renovations at Lake Flower Apartments along with the previous renovations at the Helen Hill Apartments and the Algonquin Apartments in Saranac Lake will help keep affordable housing options in the area.”

“The upgrades made to the Helen Hill Apartments will improve residents’ quality of life and enhance the neighborhood,” Adirondack Housing Development Corporation President Allen Dunham said.

According to HHA, it provides income-eligible households with affordable, clean and safe housing. Residents are provided opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency and improve the quality of their lives. It is overseen by HUD.

HHA administers two programs, the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs. Between them, the HHA can assist 248 families.

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