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Yonkers' Ridgeway Project Hailed As Some Of State's Nicest Affordable Housing

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Advocates say new affordable housing in Yonkers is some of the nicest in all of New York state.

It replaces a public housing project with a troubled past.

A rooftop ribbon-cutting was held to open an eight-story affordable housing tower with priceless views of the Hudson River, exercise and community rooms, solar power and pre-K right on the property.

It's the latest phase of Yonkers' the Ridgeway project, replacing the rundown and troubled Cottage Place Gardens.

"The living conditions was like a three or four before. Now they're a ten, a perfect ten," new resident Allen Clark told CBS2's Tony Aiello.

One couple can't wait to finish moving into their two-bedroom unit and put their new kitchen to good use during the holidays.

Eleven of 14 buildings on the five-acre Cottage Place Gardens have already been torn down, including Building 8 where Lakisha Collins-Bellamy was raised.

"Growing up, you definitely saw your share of crime and drugs and drug dealing," she said.

Now, she's a lawyer with the housing authority.

"I will always have those memories of Cottage Place Gardens, but as it falls, the Ridgeway now takes its place for others to call home," she said.

There are townhouses already completed and another affordable tower under construction.

When the six phases of the Ridgeway are complete, Yonkers will have 500 brand new affordable homes.

"When there is a renaissance happening, we want to make sure that the people who've lived here, who made their life here, that they get the benefits too," Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said.

The entire project adds up to a $270 million investment towards keeping Yonkers affordable.

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