After coverage of the Canalside saga, the State Department of Homes and Community Renewal got involved. They worked with non-profit Providence Housing as a possible candidate to come in take over ownership of the park. Providence provides affordable housing for the 12 counties within the Diocese of Rochester.
“(Canalside Residents) are victims, truly,” says Mark Greisbereger, Executive Director of Providence Housing. “I was very surprised people were living in those conditions,” he says.
Greisberger says Providence can certainly own and operate the park, the problem is redeveloping it. “I guess the word is ‘deplorable’,” he says talking about the conditions at the park.
He says redeveloping will need serious funding from Albany. “The state pretty much has made that commitment, not officially yet,” added Greisberger.
Greisberger says that includes putting in new homes, regrading the property, repaving the pothole riddled roads, repairing the drainage system, fixing the raw sewage problem, and tidying up the electric work.
“The major work will start next spring when the weather breaks,” he says.
For residents at Canalside, the possibility of Providence Housing taking over is a welcome thought. But after what they’ve been through, they aren’t holding their breath.