MALONE, N.Y. – The Malone community received a big boost this week with the state announcing a $4.8 million grant that helps move the Harison Place Project one step closer to becoming reality.
The Harison Place Project is Citizen Advocates transformative initiative to replace several blighted properties with safe, stable and affordable housing. In fact, demolition of one of the buildings that currently occupies the project site – the Gorman Building – is expected to begin in April.
“Our entire team could not be more excited for this grant funding and what it means for a project that we chose not because it’s easy, but for the revitalizing impact it will have on Main Street,” said James Button, CEO of Citizen Advocates. “This represents a win for the entire community, residents and businesses alike, who are working so tirelessly to achieve an economically thriving downtown Malone.”
“While there is still much work to do in terms of funding, we are deeply proud of the progress our team has made in moving the Harison Place project closer to reality,” said Nicholas Eells, President of the Citizen Advocates Board of Directors. “Despite many long odds, obstacles and even a pandemic, none of us have lost faith in this project because we all believe in the tremendous benefit it holds for a stronger, more resilient community.”
Once completed, the Harison Place Project will breathe new life into a prominent portion of West Main Street with the construction of street-level commercial storefronts and 40 units for supportive and low- to moderate-income housing. The project footprint includes eight properties between Harison Place and Academy Street, except the former Sears building.
“This would not be possible without the advocacy and support of our elected leaders and key community stakeholders who share the vision for a revitalized downtown Malone,” said Mr. Button. “A special thanks go to Assemblyman Billy Jones, Garry Douglas, President & CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, as well as Franklin County Manager Donna Kissane, Malone Village Mayor Andrea Dumas and Malone Town Supervisor Andrea Stewart. It is also important to recognize Suzanne LaVigne, Director of the Franklin Community Services Board, and Michele Mulverhill, Franklin County Social Services Commissioner.”
The grant funding was approved by the state Office of Temporary Disability and Assistance through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP). The program provides capital grants and loans to not-for-profit corporations, like Citizen Advocates, to acquire, construct or rehabilitate housing for persons who are homeless and are unable to secure adequate housing without special assistance.
Citizen Advocates has also committed $6.7 million in funding toward the total project cost of $24 million. The organization is actively working with a variety of state agencies and private funding sources to secure the remaining finances needed to complete the project.
In addition to providing a wide range of leading-edge clinical services, Citizen Advocates offers supports that promote individual health through stable housing, job training and transportation.