Chenango Housing Council Continues Pursuit Of A Shelter In Norwich
Published: March 16th, 2015
By: Shawn Magrath

NORWICH – Having seen an increasing number of families in need of rental assistance and temporary housing county-wide, the Chenango Housing Council is making strides toward a new shelter to be built in Norwich in order to meet the demands of a growing demographic.

The Chenango Housing Council (CHC), a coalition of local social service agencies assembled to address substandard housing and homelessness, is in the midst of a proposal to bring a transitional and permanent supportive housing facility to the Town of Norwich, just outside city limits.

Similar to a homeless shelter, the new facility would address emergency needs of homeless and at-risk families, but also provide intervention services and subsidized housing for those who qualify.

The CHC intends to submit a concept paper for the project to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance no later than April. If the concept flies, applications for funding may be made available after legislators approve a state budget.

Preliminary figures estimate the project will cost nearly $3.3 million for the acquisition of land and related cost, renovations, professional services, and other developmental costs.

The CHC is looking to buy a facility located on Leilani’s Way off County Road 32, just east of city limits. That facility is currently home to the Chenango County alcohol and drug abuse services program which has a rental agreement that’s set to expire next month. Rather than renewing the lease, county officials plan to relocate the program to the Chenango County Office Building, freeing up the facility on Leilani’s Way. The CHC is in purchase negotiations with the building’s owner.

“We had been looking at a location within the city, but it didn’t work out,” said Judy Wingate-Wade, chair of the CHC. “We have been back at the drawing board ever since. We feel like this new location would be a good opportunity.”

The CHC worked with Catholic Charities of Chenango County to contract with an architecture firm to draft floor plans for the facility. Plans were also drafted for a new building that would be constructed adjacent to the existing one. After renovations, the existing building would consist of 14 temporary housing units (eight studio, four 2-bedroom, and two 3-bedroom), a kitchen/lounge area, and a number of supportive services.

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