Multimillion Dollar Housing Expansion Project Breaks Ground

By Julia Rose

Published 05/09 2014 06:26PM

Updated 05/09 2014 06:27PM

A roughly two million dollar expansion project is officially underway. The Utica Municipal Housing Authority (MHA) broke ground on new affordable housing units Friday.

The Humphrey Gardens housing complex is getting 12 new units. The expansion of the affordable housing community means more space for the long list of people waiting for a place to live.

"Our list has grown so long that we can't accommodate everyone that needs the help,” said Natasha Pearson, a Housing Specialist for the MHA.

Pearson sees how great the need for affordable housing is in Utica every day so breaking ground on an expansion project is music to her ears.

"The fact that they're building onto it will get people in quicker and get people off the list and into affordable housing,” says Pearson.

Humphrey Gardens has 108 units right now. After the expansion project is complete, it'll have 12 new units plus a multi-purpose community room.

"There will be after school activities for children and also resources for the residents such as financial and educational,” said David H. Williams, Chairman of the MHA.

Humphrey Gardens is located across from the North Utica Shopping Center. For one local woman, that's one of the reasons she chose to call the complex home for over 50 years.

"I wouldn't go anywhere else, I didn't want to go anywhere, I like it here,” said Amelia Durant who has lived in Humphrey Gardens since 1962.

Durant raised her five children in the apartment complex and says expansion means more people will have the same opportunities she and her family had.

"Oh, it's beautiful, I mean there are a lot of good kids that grew up over here, I wouldn't ask for a better place,” says Durant.

Housing specialists say they hope the city continues to build more safe and affordable housing for the community.

Project planners say they hope to have the new units up and running by January 2015.

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