Housing Visions wrapping up affordable Utica houses

Source: YNN CNY
By: Andrew Sorensen on 11/05/2013 04:39 PM


The City of Utica has tried to breath new life into old neighborhoods as it tries to turn itself around. A private company is finishing up a housing project with the same goal. YNN’s Andrew Sorensen explains the idea behind Genessee Crossing, and how it might be working.

UTICA, N.Y.– Like many streets in Utica, there’s work to be done on Noyes Street, with its fair share of boarded up eyesore houses.

But just a bit farther down, new boards are taking their place.

“I believe two of them were unoccupied so they were abandoned properties,” said Joe Silva, Housing Visions Project Manager.

A Housing Visions Construction Crew, and their Project Manager Joe Silva, are trying to reconstruct neighborhoods, one house at a time.

“I am a believer, as corny as it may sound,” he said.

Silva explained how he switched to working for Housing Visions a few years ago, “I had met them through a project we were doing jointly, and just decided that I though this was the way to go, to give something back to the community.

“For the last few years, they’ve been working on 15 houses throughout Utica.”Well we’re trying to give people affordable housing to live in, good quality housing,” said Silva.

They hope it will have a ripple effect.

“You can drive around, and within a couple years after we’ve targeted an area, people seem to take pride in their ownership of their houses,” Silva said.

This pride is supposed to develop as people get the keys and open the door to a new home, and a new outlook on the neighborhood.

“There is a lot of remodel and rehabbing going on in conjunction with our buildings,” said Silva.

The houses are a big improvement. They’re new, and nice, with modern amenities.

For neighbors like Lyle Drake, it may not take years to notice.

“I think the men are doing a very good job over here, and I wish that I was young enough to do the work myself,” Drake said.

If giving back is the name of the game, your chance may be hanging on that “Help Wanted” sign, Mr. Drake.

Housing Visions says they should be done with construction in December and have people moving in by January.