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Mayor de Blasio, Attorney General Schneiderman and New York City and State Officials Join the Bridge to Celebrate the Groundbreaking Ceremony for a New Supportive Housing Development in the Melrose Section of the Bronx

August 3, 2016

The planned 59-unit building with supportive services to be constructed in the Bronx will aim to house veterans

The initial financing for this development was paid for by settlements with property owners who violated the law announced by Mayor de Blasio and New York State Attorney General Schneiderman earlier this year

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), the Department of Veterans’ Services, and other City and State officials join The Bridge and their development partners to announce the start of construction on the Melrose Commons Supportive Housing development in the Bronx. Located at 425 East 161st Street, the new building will provide permanent supportive housing for 58 homeless adults with special needs, with a preference for veterans. One million dollars of the project funding came from settlement monies generated from investigations spearheaded by New York State Attorney General Schneiderman into abuses of tax incentive programs.

“The men and women who valiantly protected our nation abroad should never be left without a home,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Thanks to the good work of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s ongoing investigations into bad-actor landlords who’ve gamed the system, we’re investing recouped funds from fraudsters and cheats back into affordable housing for the most deserving among us. That’s something to be proud of.”

“New York has always been a city for working people and today’s announcement makes sure we continue to make affordable housing a priority for all New Yorkers, especially our veterans,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “For more than two years, my office has been investigating unscrupulous building owners who have been abusing the law to take millions in tax exemptions they didn’t earn. Today’s announcement will turn those investigations into real homes for New Yorkers. I am proud to stand with Mayor de Blasio to give our veterans struggling with mental illness the support and housing they need.”

“Using restitution from wrongdoer settlements to fund the creation of supportive housing for our veterans and other deserving New Yorkers is a wonderful example of turning a negative into the ultimate positive,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been. “I thank Attorney General Schneiderman, Borough President Diaz, the Bridge Organization and all of our partners for furthering our mission to creating more affordable housing opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

“Making sure that our nation’s veterans are able to secure quality, affordable housing is a moral imperative and a priority of this Administration. We are proud to break ground on Melrose Commons Supportive Housing, which will reach those who have served our country, as well as homeless New Yorkers with special needs,” said Housing Development Corporation President Gary Rodney. “HDC is grateful to all of our partners at the City and State, including NYS Attorney General’s Office, HPD, NYCHA, DOHMH, and NYS HHAP, and to The Bridge, Capital One, and our many development partners for helping us to build a more affordable city.”

“This funding will help improve the lives of two of our most vulnerable populations – veterans and homeless people with special needs – by providing them with access to permanent housing. No one should live without a home, even less so those who have bravely helped protect our nation or don’t have the capacity to fend for themselves. I applaud and commend Attorney General Schneiderman and Mayor de Blasio for putting the millions of dollars in settlement money generated from the tax fraud investigations towards attending to the needs of these populations,” said Congressman José E. Serrano.

"This building will provide new housing units for some of our most vulnerable populations, including the formerly homeless and our veterans. I am proud to have provided $600,000 in capital funding from my budget to this worthy project, and I look forward to the success of this innovative development, The Bridge," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

"As a veteran, I am aggrieved by the way this society treats people who have served in our Armed Forces. While I do appreciate every effort to help to house our homeless New Yorkers, we all know that there is so much more to be done to be sure that the allocation of resources is used to help veterans, seniors, and families in need," said New York State Senator Ruben Diaz.

“We are delighted to mark today the beginning of construction of The Bridge’s newest residence in The Bronx, Melrose Commons Supportive Housing,” said Susan Wiviott, Chief Executive Officer of The Bridge. “The need for supportive housing across The Bronx and New York City is enormous, and this 59-unit building will be an important step in our effort to meet the needs of vulnerable New Yorkers, including homeless veterans with mental health conditions. We very much appreciate the support of the Mayor, the Attorney General, and so many other project partners who are helping us make this dream a reality.”

The Melrose Commons Supportive Housing project will be developed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan. The plan was designed to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. This is the most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation. Its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by housing more than half a million New Yorkers, ranging from those with very low incomes to the middle class – all of whom face ever-rising rent pressures. The plan also aims to create and maintain stable housing for homeless families, those in need of supportive housing, seniors, and people with disabilities.

The planned building will have a total of approximately 35,426 square feet of residential space. Each tenant will have their own studio apartment. Amenities will include a community room with kitchen, computer lab, laundry room, and outdoor recreational space. There will be on-site case management services for the tenants, and 24/7 front desk coverage. On site services will be offered and will be funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“Governor Cuomo recognizes the sacrifices made by our veterans and our agency is committed to making sure that they have the opportunity and support they need to be successful,” said New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts. “Our Homeless Housing and Assistance Program is a key source of capital funding to construct supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, including veterans, enabling them to have a safe, affordable place to live where they can easily access services to help address the issues that contributed to their homelessness. We are pleased to once again be partnering with The Bridge and look forward to the successful completion of this much-needed project.”

This housing will be made available to individuals earning no more than $31,750 annually. Apartments will be available by referral. All units will benefit from Project-based Section 8 that will be provided by the New York City Housing Authority. This will allow each resident’s monthly rent contribution to be limited to thirty percent of their income, whatever it may be.

The total development cost for this project is approximately $25.2 million. Financing includes $12.9 million from HDC Tax Exempt Bonds towards construction financing, and a $2.7 million HDC Subordinate Loan towards permanent financing. The project received $4.25 million from the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, and $70,800 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The Bronx Borough President’s Office contributed $600,000 in Reso A Funds. HPD provided land and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. The National Equity Fund is the tax credit syndicator. Both Capital One and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta provided lending services.

About the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):
HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychousing and @nychousing.

About the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC):
Since 2000, the New York City Housing Development Corporation has issued roughly 10 percent of all the multifamily housing revenue bonds in the U.S. From 2003 through 2013, HDC issued over $10 billion in bonds, including more than $6.7 billion in new tax-exempt private activity bonds to finance affordable housing developments. In addition, HDC has provided more than $1 billion in cash to help make the housing the City finances more affordable. In Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s annual listing of the nation’s top ten funders of multifamily housing, HDC is the only municipal entity on the list. In 2013, HDC was the third largest affordable housing lender in the U.S. after Citi and Wells Fargo. For more information visit www.nychdc.com.

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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