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Conifer In The News

The South Wedge Farmers Market, which operates under the direction of the South Wedge Planning Committee (SWPC), is stationed outside of The Hamilton Apartments on Mount Hope every Thursday night from 4pm-7pm from June through October.

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The Farmers Market offers locally grown food from vendors less than 100 miles from Rochester, live music with electric provided by The Hamilton Apartments, and cooking demonstrations from local chefs. 2016 is the 10th season for The South Wedge Farmers Market with a goal to provide healthy, fresh food to the city and support the community’s well-being.

Come to the Genesee Gateway Park at Mount Hope and Alexander this Thursday and enjoy some local vendors, such as, Blue Toad Cider, Happy Pickle, Lagoner Farms, Paw-La’s Pantry, Pudgy Girl Bakery and more! 

154The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA Rural Development) announced the winners of the National Multi-Family Housing Maintenance People of the Year for 2016. We are proud to announce Al Baxter, Maintenance Mentor at Willow Landing Apartments I & II, was one of two recipients of this award. This is the second year USDA Rural Development has given an award for Maintenance Person of the Year.

“Congratulations to Albert “Al” Baxter, the Rural Development winner for family projects, of Willow Landing Apartments I & II in Palmyra, New York. Al was nominated for his phenomenal work keeping up with the maintenance work at the projects (apartment communities). A celebration, date and time to-be-determined, will be held at Willow Landing Apartments this summer,” an excerpt from USDA Rural Development’s May/June/July MFH Newsflash.

A panel of housing professionals from CARH and representatives from USDA Rural Development made the selections. Winners were selected from numerous nominations from several states.

Please join us in congratulating Al on providing maintenance care beyond expectations. He is a true testament to the professional employees who continue to show their dedication at Conifer. 

Conifer is delighted to announce that Copiague Commons, a brand new development currently under construction, was awarded with VISION Long Island’s Smart Growth Award.

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Copiague Commons was recognized with the “Housing Choices” honor during VISION Long Island’s 15th Annual Smart Growth Awards on June 10th. These prestigious awards are presented to organizations that display industry leadership in advancing projects, regulations and initiatives. The significant shortage of affordable housing on Long Island has contributed to young professionals leaving the area, resulting in an island-wide “brain drain”. Copiague Commons was recognized as a leader in the process of creating a wider range of housing choices that have the potential to retain students and families.

Construction for Copiague Commons began in March 2016 and is conveniently located across from the Long Island Railroad in Downtown Copiague. The development affords its residents the ease of access to public transportation, neighborhood amenities and ENERGY STAR rated appliances and fixtures in each apartment home.

Initial occupancy is projected for summer 2017. To obtain more information about Copiague Commons, visit, call (631) 693-6591 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Brian Crandall, Staff Writer
Ithaca Voice

"ITHACA, N.Y. -- It's no secret that a lack of affordable housing is an issue in Tompkins County. Conifer LLC is hoping to make a dent in the deficit.

The Rochester-based company is moving forward with plans for a second phase of the Poet's Landing affordable apartment project in the village of Dryden, across the street from Dryden High School. Conifer was just awarded $1.6 million in a Housing Trust Fund grant from the State of New York's Homes and Community Renewal division, and $734,956 in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) to help finance construction of the new apartments.

Poets Landing

As described in the Voice previously, financing affordable housing is complicated, depending on a mix of public and private funding sources, and it usually takes years to be awarded funding, because the programs receive far more applications than there is money available, about three applications for each grantee. Conifer's $10.8 million expansion of Poet's Landing will rely on the state Housing Trust Fund grant and low-income housing credit equity, as well as a construction loan from Citibank.

Plans call for 48 units - 24 1-bedroom, 16 2-bedroom, and 8 3-bedroom units. Three units will be adapted for mobility-impaired residents, and a fourth unit will be adapted to individuals who are hearing or vision-impaired. According to a filing with the state as part of the grant application,the gross rents (rent plus utilities) will range from $724 to $1,070 a month, to be occupied by households with incomes 50% to 60% of area median income.

2015 AMI in Tompkins County is $54,100 for a single person, and $61,800 for a two-person household, and $69,500 for a three-person household. Therefore, the income limits are $27,050-$32,460 for a single person, $30,900-$37,080 for a two-person household, and $34,750-$41,700 for a three-person household.

The new units will be built in 6 2-story buildings directly west of the first phase of Poet's Landing, which opened in early 2013. Conifer-LeChase Construction (a joint venture between the two firms) will serve as the general contractor for the project, and Rochester-based NH Architecture will be designing the units. Both companies are already active in Ithaca, with LeChase finishing up the Carey Building in downtown Ithaca, and NH Architecture working on the new wing of the Hotel Ithaca currently under construction.

Conifer itself will be quite busy in Tompkins County over the coming year, as work commences on their Cayuga Meadows apartments on West Hill, a 68-unit affordable housing project aimed at seniors.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment about Phase II of Poet's Landing, saying they wanted to start construction before engaging in interviews. The tentative timeline is to start construction in August or early September, with the first tenants moving in during late summer 2017.

Press of Atlantic City

"Representatives from the Christie administration joined federal and local officials, the Atlantic City Housing Authority and Urban Redevelopment Agency and Conifer Realty, LLC Wednesday to mark the groundbreaking for The Meadows, a new affordable housing development in Atlantic City.

The development, located in the Back Maryland section of the city, will have 90 one- to three-bedroom units, according to an announcement from the state Department of Community Affairs.

The development will include a community building with a community room, computer room, management offices and additional maintenance space, the DCA said. Housing units will have a dishwasher, refrigerator, air conditioning and an electric oven. Residents in 62 of the 90 units will receive rental assistance, the DCA said.

The DCA said the project, which will be developed by Conifer Realty, LLC, has been awarded $5.8 million in federal Sandy recovery funds.

The HMFA also provided approximately $14.6 million in agency financing and awarded the project 4 percent federal low-income housing tax credits that will generate more than $9.9 million in private equity, the DCA said. Other funding sources for the project include HOPE VI funds from the Atlantic City Housing Authority and a deferred developer fee.

The project is expected to be completed in March 2016. The Atlantic City Housing Authority and Conifer Realty, LLC, will begin to accept apartment applications for available units in November of 2016.

Until then, residents can request to be placed on the interest list by calling 609-385-0676. People on the interest list will be notified when applications become available."

Conifer is proud to announce the recipients of the Annual Property Management Excellence Awards. The award winners are an extension of Conifer’s values, they positively impact the lives of our residents and support our unwavering dedication to providing high-quality homes that welcome workforce families, elderly and those with special needs. These committed recipients were announced during Conifer’s annual leadership conference with 300 employees in attendance to celebrate, connect, collaborate and communicate. 

2016 Conifer Conference Award Winners

From left to right: Al Baxter (2016 Maintenance Person of the Year for Family Housing awarded from the USDA Rural Development); Wayne Chapman (Property of the Year); Karen Coleman (Co-Rookie of the Year); Dorisa Otero (Manager of the Year); Patti Painton (Conifer Value Award); Karen Koskinen (Most Improved Property NOI); Laurie Thomas (Co-Rookie of the Year); Brandi Pecor (Most Improved Property NOI); Sue Terwilliger (Most Improved Property NOI); not pictured: Jacqueline Majors-Myles (Outstanding Customer Service) & Robert Figueroa (Maintenance Supervisor of the Year)

Please join us in congratulating our exception employees on a great 2015 and even better 2016! 

National Housing & Rehabilitation Association
NH&RA, Member News

"Conifer Realty, LLC, celebrated the completion of construction and occupancy of Wincoram Commons in Coram, New York, alongside Community Development Corporation of Long Island, Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County and New York State officials, as well as civic leaders and private funders. The $56 million development consists of 176 mixed-income multifamily rental apartments, 9,000 square feet of office/retail space, a community center, and a connector road between Route 112 and Route 25 which serves as the main street for the development.

Wincoram Commons Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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Wincoram Ribbon Cutting Event, May 19, 2016

Centereach, N.Y.
(see excerpts from Press Release below)

Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDCLI) and Conifer Realty, LLC, joined today with Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County and New York State officials, as well as civic leaders and private funders to celebrate the completion of construction and occupancy of Wincoram Commons in Coram New York.  This beautiful, new $56 million development consists of 176 mixed-income multifamily rental apartments, 9,000 square feet of office/retail space, a community center, and a connector road between Route 112 and Route 25 which serves as the main street for the development.

Permanent financing sources include: a $9.3 million loan from The Community Development Trust; $7.5 million in tax-exempt bond proceeds from the NYS Housing Finance Agency; a $1 million loan from Empire State Development; $600,000 in Homes for Working Families; $2 million in Suffolk County Workforce Housing Infrastructure funds; $500,000 from CDCLI Funding Corporation; and $31.9 million in federal and state tax credit equity provided by Red Stone Equity Partners.  Capital One and NYS Housing Finance Agency provided construction financing.  The Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency provided crucial development incentives.
“We come together today for a celebration of a new community. The buildings are beautiful, but it is the people who now live here who make this a special place. Within every apartment a family has a story of a life uplifted because so many dedicated people came together in partnership to replace blight with a hamlet center. We are so grateful for the support of all of our public and private sector partners who have made this development possible. You all have invested in the dreams of many people and helped us to transform lives,” said Marianne Garvin, President and CEO of CDCLI.

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Affordable Housing Finance
Christine Serlin, Staff Writer

"Industry experts share strategies for working with neighbors, local officials.

1. Educate the Community

The key to overcoming NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) opposition is to educate people as to what affordable housing really is and what it is not, says Charles Lewis, senior vice president for Conifer Realty.


“When people hear the term ‘affordable housing,’ they tend to think of the worst-looking public housing project in the worst neighborhood in their town,” he says.

Conifer works to dispel those myths by explaining that affordable housing is rental housing affordable to a family of four earning $50,000 (or 60% of the area median income), who the residents are, and where they are from.

“We show that our residents will be people from the community. On the average, 70% of the residents of our developments already live within five miles of the development,” says Lewis. “The other 30%, by and large, have some sort of connection with the community. They work there, grew up there, or have family there.”

Conifer researches pay scales in the community to give examples about the people who will live there, such as a teacher with children, a health-care worker, or an administrative assistant.

2. Address Legitimate Concerns

Jaimie Ross, president and CEO of the Florida Housing Coalition, says it’s important to address the opposition’s legitimate concerns, such as traffic or project design.

These legitimate, non-discriminatory concerns may lead the affordable housing developer to make adjustments to items such as the location of the entrance driveway or the design of the building to better fit in with the existing community.

“It is wise for the affordable housing developer to be able to report to the local elected body that they have worked with the neighbors and made every reasonable effort to respond to each concern,” says Ross, who is also an attorney. “Once all legitimate concerns are addressed, if opposition persists, it can be stated with certainty that the opposition is illegitimate and is therefore opposition that would be inappropriate, arbitrary, capricious, or unlawful for the local government to consider in making its land-use decision.”

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Conifer is ranked 21st in The National Affordable Housing Management Associations “Affordable 100” list for 2016!  This is up from 24 in 2015!

Thank you to our team for thier role in working together!  #ConiferInMotion  #DoingWhateWeDoBetter

To see the rankings, click on the link below: