Housing complex construction

Contractors are in the final stages of constructing Oswego County Opportunities’ 56-unit supportive housing complex on City Line Road in Scriba, Champlain Commons, set to open in late summer of this year.

SCRIBA — Nearly seven months after breaking ground, property managers are reviewing tenant applications for a $13.5 million, 56-unit supportive rental housing complex — Champlain Commons — located on City Line Road in Scriba.

Similar to the Oswego County Opportunities’ Backstreet Apartments supportive housing project that started housing tenants in Fulton at the beginning of this year, Champlain Commons was constructed with state funds to address barriers for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, said Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director of Oswego County Opportunities.

“As a support service for homeless in Oswego County, we see many people who are in over their heads with the housing costs,” Cooper-Currier said. “If you’re earning $13 an hour, you’re barely making ends meet.”

She said Oswego County Opportunities (OCO), a human services nonprofit agency, conducts needs assessments for Oswego County, which consistently indicate unstable housing as one of the most critical areas to be addressed when it comes combating the area’s high rates of poverty.

Seventeen of the 56 apartment units have been designated for referral-only tenants of annual incomes no more than 30 percent of the local median to receive OCO’s enhanced support services, Cooper-Currier said.

“The 17 units in Champlain are for housing those who are vulnerable or at risk of being homeless to ensure they have a stable roof over their heads while attaining other services,” Cooper-Currier said. “These are people who have been couch surfing, sometimes working but on the cusp of losing it all.”

Cooper-Currier said eligibility to rent is based on the local median household income, with the upper income limit increasing by $2,220 for every occupant.

For the 17 supportive housing units, an individual is eligible to rent if his or her annual household income does not exceed 30 percent of the local median — $15,570 per year for one person and 17,790 for two people and so on. Monthly rent payments would cost the individual $544 for a one-bedroom unit, $640 for a two-bedroom unit, or $728 for a three-bedroom unit.

Applications will be accepted until May 14 at 10 a.m., when a lottery will be held at the Reform Presbyterian Church at 154 City Line Road in Scriba, neighboring Champlain Commons, to select tenants from the pool of applications, according to a news release by Oswego County Opportunities.

“Last week, when I reached out to our property manager, we had a list we had started from early winter and we have 30 people on our list, and we gave that to our property manager,” Cooper-Currier said, referring to the site’s Rochester-based rental manager, Cornerstone Property Management LLC. “They said it’s been a steady stream since.”

The 39 other units are available to families and individuals making 60 percent of the local median annual income or less. An individual or family whose annual income is 50 percent or less than the county’s median is eligible to rent a one-bedroom unit for $544 per month or a two-bedroom unit for $640 per month. 

An individual or family whose annual income exceeds 50 percent of the local median but no more than 60 percent is eligible to rent a two-bedroom unit for $675 per month or a three-bedroom unit for $834 per month.

Income eligibility is based on standard wages, pension funds, alimony, Social Security, and retirement benefits. Water, sewer, and trash services are included in rent, but tenants are responsible to pay for gas and electric services, according to a news release from Oswego County Opportunities.

For more information or to apply, call Champlain Commons at 315-207-2097.

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