SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Tuesday, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance announced the start of a new housing project to create emergency and permanent housing in downtown Schenectady. Construction has started on what is set to be an $8.5 million project.

The “Cara House” project will create 37 housing units for individuals experiencing homelessness, including 26 permanent housing units and 11 emergency housing units. The facility will be operated by Bethesda House, an organization that provides housing and other services to vulnerable Schenectady residents, in addition to those re-entering society after incarceration.

“The combination of safe, stable and affordable housing coupled with supportive services is fundamental to our efforts to reduce homelessness,” Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said. “We look forward to the completion of Cara House and the role it will play in strengthening Bethesda House’s efforts to serve those experiencing homelessness in Schenectady County.”

The creation of the Cara House is part of New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul’s five-year housing plan. The $25 billion plan includes the preservation of 100,000 affordable homes, including 10,000 homes with specific services for more vulnerable residents of communities.

The project is being funded in large part by $6.4 million from the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority gave $33K to the project, and $1 million came from Federal Home Loan Bank. Schenectady County committed $200,000.

“Addressing housing challenges is about more than just putting a roof over someone’s head,” said Michelle Ostrelich, Schenectady County Legislator and Chairwoman of the Health, Housing and Human Services Committee. “We’d like to thank NYS for their financial support of this project. Schenectady County is proud to partner with Bethesda to not only help individuals in need find a place to stay, but to also provide case management services so their other needs can be met. The Cara House will allow us to expand our partnership and focus on helping our most vulnerable populations.”