Plans continue for affordable housing in Watertown

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 6:51 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Plans continue for new, affordable housing units in Watertown. Local community leaders hope it’ll be a big part to the solution as the area still deals with the problem of homelessness.

There’s a vision for three acres on the corner of Main Avenue and Mill Street in Watertown to build a four-story apartment building.

Half the units will be for low-income people needing affordable housing. The other half will be supportive housing to help those battling substance abuse and mental health illnesses.

“A great way to assist with solving, you know, the needs of two housing segments in our community,” said Transitional Living Services Executive Director Maureen Cean.

One Watertown resident says there is not enough affordable housing.

“Yes, we need this. We need more of it, and I think this is a great place to put it,” said Darlene Sanchez.

She says she’s especially excited about the supportive housing program.

“I lost a son three years ago to drugs. God, if I could’ve helped him, I would’ve. It was just too late, so yes, if they need the help, please please come here,” she said.

Transitional Living Services will be working along with Credo Community Center and Neighbors of Watertown to make the project possible.

“It has been clear that more and more lately that there is a need for this type of housing. It falls into the mission of Neighbors of Watertown to help develop housing that can treat or help some of the most vulnerable populations we have,” said Reginald Schweitzer, Neighbors of Watertown executive director.

As for plans to combat homelessness in the near future, the Department of Social Services is in its final stages of hiring the director of housing. The plan is to fill the position by the end of August.

Once the person is hired, they will move forward with the recommendations of the county’s homelessness committee; one of those recommendations is a pallet shelter.”

The new apartment complex needs more planning and zoning approvals before construction can start next year.