Vacant school converted to affordable apartments

Nov 14, 2017

People Inc. is now offering affordable housing in the City of Tonawanda. A brief ribbon cutting ceremony, with state and local elected officials in attendance, was held Tuesday for the new the Highland School Apartments.

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul cut the ribbon for the Highland School Apartments.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

Before an extensive renovation, the former school, at 105 Highland Avenue, had been vacant since 2009. People Inc. President and CEO, Rhonda Frederick says, it could have been an eyesore.
"It could have been left empty here. But we worked together with the community and the neighbors to help our Highland School Apartments to be a true asset for the Tonawanda community. We really feel that this project is an example of neighbors helping neighbors," Frederick said. 

People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

It's an "integrated community" with 28 units for the general public and ten units for people with disabilities, according to People Inc. Vice President of Housing Development Jocelyn Bos.  
"Each apartment has a full complex of stove, refrigerator, we added in dishwashers, nice finishes. The entire building is wheelchair accessible," Bos said.

Five of the units are designed for people in wheelchairs, but Bos says, all of the apartments are adaptable as people age.

New York state provided funding and tax credits totaling just over half of the $10.5 million cost of the project.