Vacant, historic brick company building in Rochester is repurposed into affordable, supportive housing for the homeless

September 28. 2022 saw the completion of Open Door Mission‘s $6.8 million redevelopment of the historic, vacant Miller Building in Rochester, New York, which now features 24 units of permanent supportive housing for former homeless individuals.

Open Door Mission CEO Anna Valeria-Iseman, said, “The completion of this project marks an exciting chapter at Open Door Mission and it comes at a critical time as the need for affordable housing is at an all-time high. The opening of these housing units will establish a strong path to recovery, financial independence and lasting restoration for the people we serve.

Funded largely by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, the apartments will be occupied by individuals with mental illness, those struggling with substance use disorder and youth ages 18 to 25.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said, “Congratulations to the Open Door Mission for the completion of the Miller Building supportive housing development on Main Street, which will help people make a successful transition from chronic homelessness to permanent housing. I want to thank Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports for supporting this project and making this investment in Rochester. Providing our residents with safe, quality and affordable housing will advance our efforts to create a hope-filled city with an exciting future.

This project complements Governor Hochul’s statewide plan to make housing more affordable, equitable, and stable. In the FY 2023 State Budget, the Governor successfully secured a new $25 billion, five-year, comprehensive housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, “The combination of safe, permanent, affordable apartments and on-site support services will greatly assist these young adults, as well as residents with mental illness or a substance use disorder. These wonderful new apartments bring to life a formerly vacant building, benefitting not just those who will live there, but the entire community.

The Open Door Mission completely renovated the abandoned Miller Building of the Miller Brick Company on West Main Street to include 13 studio and 11 one-bedroom apartments.

State Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “Addressing complex issues around mental health, substance abuse, and young adults experiencing homelessness, this funding will ensure the Open Door Mission continues to comprehensively serve the diverse needs of our community as they have led in doing for the past seven decades. I’m thankful for the support of Governor Hochul, the OTDA, and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports for promoting accessible, affordable, eco-conscious housing in our region.”

Additionally, on-site support services will be provided including case management, job readiness training, financial management, skill training and job search assistance.

Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “Many members of our community have no access to a safe and stable home. Without dependable housing, struggling community members and families are denied the opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty as well as the ability to thrive. I am grateful to Governor Hochul, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and Open Door Mission for demonstrating their commitment in providing affordable, equitable, and stable housing to our most vulnerable populations. I hope that this investment represents the start of a growing commitment towards providing stable housing and effective resources for our homeless sisters and brothers.

Funding for the project included more than $6.5 million from the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, with the Open Door Mission covering the remaining construction costs.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Housing is foundational to public health and safety. This new housing project will be transformational in its engagement with formerly homeless individuals by ensuring they have the support and resources necessary to maintain a stable and healthy life. Thank you to Governor Hochul and the Open Door Mission for this important investment in our residents and our community.

Operating funding is being provided through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative through the state Office of Addiction Services and Supports.

These new apartments will provide not just a safe and affordable place to live, but also the supportive services needed to thrive,” Governor Kathy Hochul said.

Supportive housing like the Miller Building in Rochester is a critical component of my administration’s commitment to building inclusive communities that help ensure all New Yorkers have a safe, affordable place to call home, and we will continue to invest in supportive housing as a fundamental part of our efforts to address homelessness across the state,” she concluded.

The Open Door Mission is celebrating its 70th year serving the Rochester community. The organization operates three other facilities offering emergency or transitional shelter in Monroe County.

Rendering courtesy of Passero Associates.

See Open Door Mission website.

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