NEW YORK (Dec. 19, 2018) - On Wednesday, Commissioners for the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) were joined by the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to visit formerly homeless seniors at the Project FIND Woodstock Senior Center, formerly the historic Woodstock Hotel, and to tour housing areas under construction.
The Woodstock Senior Center site, located off Times Square, serves hundreds of older adults and is currently undergoing major renovations that include a rooftop terrace and 10 new single room occupancy units thanks to HPD's affordable housing programs. The site is home to more than 280 formerly homeless seniors. Through DFTA, the location also serves more than 300 meals daily to homeless and non-homeless seniors and provides case assistance, wellness activities, fitness classes, computer classes, and more.
"This location is a shining example of what strong partnerships can accomplish in our communities. The collective efforts of Project FIND, HPD, and DFTA provide homes, hot meals, socialization, and support to hundreds of seniors who face homelessness each year," said DFTA acting Commissioner Caryn Resnick. "No New Yorker should have to endure these challenges, let alone vulnerable seniors during the holidays."
"Home is essential, not just at the holidays, but every day of the year. That is why we are pushing to produce more affordable housing at a faster pace than ever before, especially for our City's seniors. Here at the historic Woodstock Hotel, we aren’t just financing needed improvements and securing lasting affordability, we are adding 10 new affordable apartments -- among the thousands that we are creating across the City for our seniors," said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. "I want to thank Project FIND, CPC, DFTA, and all our many partners for helping to ensure that the residents who built our neighborhoods have the housing and sense of community they need and deserve."
Dale Evans, who sold art to tourists, became homeless when he could no longer keep up with his wife’s associated medical bills from a prolonged illness; she later died. He would come to Project FIND to shower and to get a hot meal at the senior center. Later, he was able to obtain a single room occupancy at the location before eventually moving on to a different location with an in-kitchen unit. "This program helped me regain my footing," said the 68-year-old, who spent nearly three years living at the Woodstock location. "They walked me through each step, and the housing and senior center were a stabilizing force for me."
"The Woodstock Hotel is both a labor of love and a partnership. Under this one roof, the resources of HPD, DFTA, DHS, Project FIND, and Family Health Centers of NYU Langone have been brought to bear to create a localized safety net that allows older adults to remain housed and to thrive," said Project FIND Executive Director David Gillcrist.
The 10 new single room occupancy (SRO) units, terrace, and renovation of the existing 281 SRO units are part of a $6.3 million affordable housing project that is one of the many developments started under Mayor Bill de Blasio's "Housing New York 2.0" plan, which aims to build or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing throughout New York City by 2026. Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.
Project FIND Woodstock Senior Center is one of nearly 250 senior centers in DFTA's network across the City. Nearly 300 meals are served daily at the center. So far this year, the center has served nearly 2,400 seniors.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (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 Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026. For full details visit HPD and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.
The New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) works to eliminate ageism and ensure the dignity and quality of life of New York City’s diverse 1.6 million older adults. DFTA also works to support caregivers through service, advocacy, and education. DFTA is the largest area agency on aging in the U.S.
Matthew Creegan, HPD
Zenovia Earle, DFTA