Affordable housing in East Buffalo: Construction commences for Mt. Olive Senior Manor

A $27 million affordable housing initiative aimed to serve elderly, low-income residents of East Buffalo
Groundbreaking for the Mt. Olive Senior Manor
Buffalo, N.Y. - A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023 for the Mt. Olive Senior Manor, a project to provide affordable housing for seniors on E. Delevan, adjacent to the church. Photo credit Max Faery - WBEN

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Many state and local elected officials in addition to co-developers Mt. Olive Development Corporation and People Inc. were at the Mt. Olive Baptist church Monday morning to hold the official groundbreaking ceremony for a project that will provide affordable housing to seniors living in East Buffalo.

The Mt. Olive Senior Manor is a $27 million initiative that will provide 65 apartments for people ages 55 and over whose household earnings are at 60% or below the Area Median Income.

"This project has been years in the making," said Anne McCaffrey, President and CEO of People Inc., "The work presently underway is the manifestation of the dream of the late Reverend Dr. William Gillison, Jr, the beloved pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church, and founder of Mount Olive Baptist Church Development Corp, who, nearly 30 years ago, saw a great need for senior housing, and then worked tirelessly to address it. Pastor Gillison clearly was a visionary. While he passed away a year ago, Pastor Gillison's Spirit is here with us today and we are honored to be part of helping his vision become a reality."

There will be 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments in the manor, and will have special apartments set aside set for the frail, elderly senior tenants with housing instability, as well as apartments for the mobility disabled and those who have vision or hearing challenges. The whole property is located adjacent to the Mt. Olive Baptist Church on East Develave Ave.

"Rents will range between $540 to $640 per month for a one bedroom and between $630 and $755 for two bedroom apartments. The property will have ample off street parking storage space and a large community room with a kitchen there will be onsite management and space for service coordination," added McCaffrey.

State financing for Mt. Olive Senior Manor includes $13 million in Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and $3.6 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is providing $4 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. The construction fulfilled the requirements of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's successful Brownfield Cleanup Program, which is expected to result in $3.6 million in tax credits issued by the New York State Department of Tax and Finance. In addition, the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency awarded $2.9 million in HOME funds.

"We're actually going to break ground today on the vision that was given to our late pastor, my dad, Pastor William Gillison. I thank God for this privilege of being able to carry out his vision, realizing this his vision, that God has given to him, we're going to see it through. We thank God for all of our partners who have come along," said Pastor Dwayne Gillison Sr., Current Pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

Construction officially started in July 2023, the estimated completion of the project will be 24 months from July 2023.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Max Faery - WBEN