In its work with the Western New York community, Catholic Charities is known for ministering to the poor, elderly and people with disabilities. Another facet of its ministry is Delta Development of Western New York Inc., a not-for-profit development company founded in 1988 through the ministry of Catholic Charities and the Diocese of Buffalo, to provide comfortable housing at an affordable price.
Today, Delta Development is responsible for 22 apartment complexes across Western New York, from the 39 units of senior housing on the campus of Mount St. Mary Academy in Kenmore, to the 72-unit Claire Court Apartments in Hamburg, to the Monsignor Kirby Apartments in Batavia, also with 39 units. While of the many complexes are in Buffalo, they maintain a presence throughout the diocese.
"We have 22 apartment buildings in the Western New York that Delta manages. It is primarily for low-income seniors, although we do have a couple of properties that we work with families as well," Margaret Gillig, executive director of Delta Development, said. "Most of what we manage is for the diocese. These are properties they have long been committed to, and in various locations."
One complex is specifically designated for individuals who are chronically mentally ill. Of the available senior housing, some buildings are reserved for those who are 55 and older, while some cater to people 62 and older. Some of the complexes are also designed for people with impaired mobility.
"We have two properties, for families that are 18 and older, that are income determinant," added Gillig. "We're the property management company, so we oversee the management of those buildings. We have a stellar staff on site, with a site manager and a maintenance technician that look to the needs of our residents and make sure the properties are well-maintained."
In all, Delta operates and manages over 950 apartment complexes, two of which are buildings with more than 100 units. One of these, Santa Maria Towers, is located near D'Youville College in Buffalo. Timon Towers, named for the first bishop of Buffalo, was built on the site of the former St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo. These properties will see some major updates. Nick Filbert, Delta Development's project manager, is currently overseeing many safety and other renovations at these two complexes.
On a daily basis, Filbert has been monitoring both how things are going for the residents and what the development company is going to do to make them more comfortable. The entire façade of Santa Maria Towers, including insulation and new windows, will be replaced. The development company has already been working on other projects, including upgrading the apartment's emergency systems.
"We've already completed some work, and that was replacing the fire system pump and control panel," Filbert said. "We've also upgraded the apartments' emergency system, so we've added hardwired smoke detectors in the bedrooms of all of the apartments, just increasing the security system. Over at Timon Towers, we start to get into several smaller-sized projects (that are) going on."
These projects have included updating the emergency call system for the apartments at Timon Towers, which will allow for a faster response time for emergency teams. They have added heat sensors outside of the kitchens and added new and updated lithium-battery operated smoke detectors, and will add wall-mounted air conditioning units to the apartments and new parking lot lighting at Timon Towers.
"In both those properties, we are adding another smoke detector to the apartments. We're adding more devices so that it's a faster response time for residents and for emergency crews," Filbert added.
By having the housing available and being able to work with seniors and vulnerable populations, Gillig said Delta meets an "incredible need for affordable, quality housing for seniors." By working with HUD and various tax credit agencies, they have been able to provide more opportunities. The response from community members who live in the complexes and their families, has been positive.
"It's such a great amount of gratitude, as far as being able to live in a place that they can call home. It's a real community, each of these buildings," Gillig said. "It's allowed some folks to be able to live independently when that might not have been a choice for them otherwise. A great deal of the feedback we get is just the fact that they can be themselves and live their lives quite fully because of that situation."
For more information about available housing opportunities from Delta Development, call 716-847-1635 or send a fax to 716-856-7201.