For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 20, 2018
NYS Homes and Community Renewal and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Announce Completion of Two Affordable Housing Developments in the Bronx
New Settlement Apartments and 1561 Walton Avenue Create and Preserve Over 950 Affordable Homes in Mount Eden Neighborhood
Bronx, NY – New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development today celebrated the ribbon cutting of New Settlement Apartments, a $177 million scatter site development, and 1561 Walton Avenue, a $20 million newly constructed 11-story building. Together, these two developments have created and preserved 953 affordable homes in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx with hundreds of homes set aside for formerly homeless families. Settlement Housing Fund, Inc. is the developer for both projects, and the Briarwood Organization is a co-developer for 1561 Walton.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “HCR is committed to enhancing the lives of New York families by improving living conditions and increasing access to affordable and supportive homes in neighborhoods well served by transit. These two developments will provide safe, affordable homes for more than 1,000 New Yorkers and are a major step forward in addressing the critical shortage of affordable housing in the Bronx and continuing the fight against homelessness across New York State.”
Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said, “The preservation of this iconic Koch-era portfolio, long an anchor of affordability for this community, and the construction of new affordable housing on adjacent vacant land embodies the comprehensive approach that we are taking through Housing New York, which looks to seize every opportunity and pull every lever to address the city’s affordability crisis. By making needed improvements at New Settlement Apartments, we are protecting the affordability of 900 apartments while bringing 60 new affordable homes to the community through the transformation of a once-vacant lot at 1561 Walton into a new state-of-the-art development. We want to thank and congratulate Settlement Housing Fund, our project partners, and elected officials for their creativity and hard work on these projects and for helping to make sure more hard-working New Yorkers have access to safe, decent housing they can afford.”
New Settlement Apartments includes 14 existing multifamily buildings originally constructed between 1924 and 1928. Financing was provided to renovate the properties and preserve affordability for the next 60 years. Thirty percent of the apartments are set aside for formerly homeless families.
The scope of work for renovations included upgrades to exteriors, vestibule doors, elevators, trash compactors, fire escapes, fencing, hot water heater/boilers, landscaping, the installation of new security systems and intercoms, and replacement of windows and lighting. Roofs were replaced and solar panels were installed. Individual apartment upgrades included new baseboard radiators, circuit breakers, lighting, bathrooms, kitchens and new doors. All upgrades met or exceeded Enterprise Green Communities standards for energy efficiency.
The development includes Community Service Facility spaces in four of the buildings. These spaces are currently occupied rent-free by local non-profit organizations providing GED classes, after school programs, and arts and crafts classes for neighborhood residents.
New York State’s investment in New Settlement Apartments comes through New York State Homes and Community Renewal programs, including approximately $100 million in tax-exempt bonds, and $48.5 million generated from low income housing tax credits. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development is providing $22 million in subsidy. Other financing includes a Seller’s Note for approximately $62 million, a Settlement Housing Fund Loan, and Solar Tax Credits. Citi served as the construction financing provider.
1561 Walton Avenue is a newly constructed 11-story building with 59 affordable apartments and one employee unit built on a former parking lot next to the New Settlement Apartments. Eight apartments are set aside for formerly homeless families or individuals. Support services for these tenants will be provided by the Settlement Housing Fund.
Building amenities include a community room, laundry room, and large terrace. The ground floor has a Community Service Facility, which will serve as a meeting room for the College Access Center, a nonprofit organization that assists low-income high school students and adults with college applications and job readiness training.
New York State’s investment in 1561 Walton Avenue comes through New York State Homes and Community Renewal programs, including State and Federal Housing Tax Credits that will generate more than $13 million in equity for the project, and 8 Project-based Vouchers for operating support. NYSERDA provided $72,000. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development provided $3.4 million in Low Income Program funds and the Community Preservation Corporation provided a $2.9 million loan, and JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy provided a $450,000 grant for the project.
Both developments are in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx. The neighborhood is well served by public transportation and has many amenities including schools, hospitals, parks, retail and other services.
Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner said, “Creating and preserving affordable housing for hundreds of Bronx families, the developments at New Settlement Apartments and 1561 Walton Avenue are helping to meet the housing needs of so many of my constituents. I applaud this investment in the Mount Eden community, and appreciate the commitment that New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the leaders of the New Settlement development have shown to the families in my community.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “These two projects are tremendous additions to our borough’s robust housing portfolio that we have put together during the past nine years. We have developed thousands of affordable housing units in The Bronx since 2009, and our success would not be possible without partners like Governor Cuomo and HCR.”
Councilman Fernando Cabrera said, “Affordable housing is one of the most critical issues in my district. More than 70% of the constituents that come to my district office are there for help because they need safe, decent and affordable housing. Preservation of existing affordable units and creation of new affordable units is absolutely necessary in order to meet our overwhelming housing need. The collaboration of NYS HCR and NYC HPD to finance creation and preservation of affordable housing units at New Settlement Apartments and 1561 Walton Avenue is a great achievement for the City of New York, the State of New York and the Mount Eden neighborhood.”
Settlement Housing Fund President Alexa Sewell said, “New Settlement Apartments has been an anchor in the Mt. Eden neighborhood of the Bronx for decades. We are grateful to the incredible team of public servants at NYS Homes and Community Renewal and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development for the commitment and creativity they brought to ensuring the ongoing affordability of nearly 900 apartments and bringing a new, 100% affordable 60-unit building online. The investment in New Settlement Apartments ensures the long-term health and vibrancy of the New Settlement Apartments community and the community programming that results from it.”
James Riso, Principal, Briarwood Organization, said, "The Briarwood Organization was proud to be both partners with Settlement housing and the General Contractor on Walton Ave. it is a beautifully designed building and will provide much needed housing for 60 deserving families for years to come.”
Matt Bissonette, Director, Citi Community Capital, said, "Citi is proud to have been a financing partner in the rehabilitation of the homes for the residents of New Settlement Apartments. We always welcome opportunities to work with Settlement Housing Fund and support their longstanding commitment to provide quality affordable housing for New Yorkers."
About Settlement Housing Fund
Settlement Housing Fund creates and sustains high quality affordable housing and programs, building strong and economically diverse neighborhoods throughout New York City. Settlement Housing Fund works closely with community partners to provide low- and moderate-income New Yorkers with pathways to long-term affordable housing, education, employment and wellness.
New Settlement Apartments was created by Settlement Housing Fund in 1989 with the acquisition of 14 abandoned buildings from the City of New York. The development has since expanded to 18 buildings, two of which are newly constructed, that together are home to 1,081 families – 30% of whom are formerly homeless. Recognizing from the outset that a community is not made simply of bricks and mortar, New Settlement launched a range of community-based services in education, college access, youth development, arts, workforce development, community organizing, wellness and other key services that provide important resources to the neighborhood’s youth and families.