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Syracuse Housing Authority to pursue $50m federal grant for redevelopment plan

Sun shines down on a snow-covered lawn with apartment buildings in the distance and trees in the foreground
John Smith
Sun shines down on McKinney Manor with a light dusting of November snow in Syracuse.

The City of Syracuse and the Syracuse Housing Authority have the green light to apply for a $50 million federal grant aimed at transforming the public housing development along East Adams Street. Monday’s approval by the common council is the latest step in the revitalization of Pioneer Homes and McKinney Manor. SHA Executive Director Bill Simmons says the plan calls for one-to-one replacement of housing units for current residents.

“We will have an additional 140 units of market rate and affordable through the tax credit program," Simmons told councilors last week. "So there's going to be a greater density, but this project goes also towards de-densifying poverty, along with all the work that's being done with Blueprint 15 and the Children's Rising Center, there's going to be a great deal of amenities for families in this community.”

The plan also includes funding for case management support for vulnerable residents struggling with mental health, addiction, or other challenges. Common Council President Helen Hudson says additional supportive housing is critical.

“They need housing too, so I need us to start thinking about how do we strategically and I know you said you're looking at it," Hudson said. "But I mean, I'm ready to pedal to the metal because we got to get these people housed.”

 Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens says they already have a successful model nearby. Freedom Commons opened a few years ago on Burt Street in collaboration with the Center for Community Alternatives.

“Freedom Commons is a great example because of services that partnership are right there in the building," Owens said. "Sometimes that doesn't happen and it so we're really diligent about the proposal of these projects.”

The City and SHA have partnered with other firms to come up with a project that has already cleared other planning hurdles.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at