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Village seeking additional rental housing rehab funds

SARANAC LAKE - Officials in the village of Saranac Lake announced last week they're seeking additional funds for the rehabilitation of rental housing units.

According to a release issued by Community Development Director Jeremy Evans, there are funds available through the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

If the grant is awarded, the village would provide up to $15,000 per unit and up to 75 percent of total projects costs for landlords seeking to address "code violations, structural problems, and make energy efficiency improvements to investor-owned properties through a deferred-payment loan."

The property owner would be required to pay the remaining 25 percent of the project's cost.

But here's the catch: units renovated through these funds would have to be priced for low-to-moderate income residents. And, after five years, if the property owner has effectively maintained the improvements and kept housing units affordable, the loan is forgiven.

Evans hopes this opportunity will generate interest among multi-family property owners in the village.

"Even if multi-family property owners are only thinking about undertaking renovations within the next couple of years, they should give us a call," he said.

The village wants to answer questions and gauge interest as staff moves forward with the application.

"The application will be much stronger if we have support and interest from property owners from the beginning," Evans said.

The application's success depends on the village's ability to demonstrate the need for investment in property rehab here in Saranac Lake - and interest from property owners helps, too.

Interested landlords can contact Jeremy Evans at 891-4150 ext. 235 or via email at comdev@saranaclakeny.gov

The grant application is due March 18.

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