ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Monday, New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul named three cities receiving the first awards from the state’s new Legacy Cities program. Among them is Albany, set to get $1.9 million to bring new life to homes in the city’s West Hill neighborhood.

Albany is set to receive those funds to renovate nine existing buildings in West Hill, which collectively make up 20 apartment units. The Legacy Cities initiative is designed to direct funding to places where new homes can be renovated or built, and to projects that combat homelessness. Syracuse and Newburgh also received funds.

“The Legacy Cities initiative is a strategic investment in community wealth building in our upstate neighborhoods,” said state Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “The three awards for Syracuse, Newburgh and Albany will breathe new life into these downtowns, improve safety and expand access to affordable homeownership, especially for buyers of color who have traditionally been underrepresented in the housing market. We look forward to replicating this funding model in more communities across the state to build a stronger and more equitable New York.”

The program lets municipalities like Albany give the work to local developers, with minority- and women-owned businesses getting preference. The money gets divided up into amounts of up to $75,000 per housing unit.

Once completed, the renovated West Hill homes will be sold to first-time homeowners. The program prioritizes minority groups and those who earn less than 80% of the median income for the surrounding area.

“By expanding the Legacy Cities program, we are strengthening New York’s commitment to revitalizing blighted areas and bringing new opportunities for homeownership equity to urban neighborhoods throughout the state,” Gov. Hochul said in a release. “Families need safe, secure, and affordable places to live, and I will continue to put the power of my administration behind programs that make that a reality while also improving the quality of life in underserved neighborhoods across the state.”

Albany’s $1.9 million was joined by $2.1 million to Newburgh, where six buildings containing 16 housing units will be renovated in the city’s Lander Street neighborhood. In Syracuse, $717,000 will be used to renovate five buildings and seven units in the city’s southside area. 

The Legacy Cities program is a partnership between New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the Community Preservation Corporation. More information on the program, as well as applications for cities looking to get some aid, can be found on the state website.