For Immediate Release: Monday, April 8, 2019
Cardinal Timothy Dolan Joins NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray City and State Officials to Open St. Augustine Terrance in the Bronx
Affordable Building to Provide 112 Units to Low Income Families and Adults with Mental Illness
Catholic Charities Announces New Plan to Construct an Additional 1,500 - 2,000 Affordable Homes, Doubling what the Church Built over the Last 40 Years
New York, NY – Cardinal Timothy Dolan today joined New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, head of Catholic Charities of New York Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Councilmember Vanessa Gibson, and NYC and NYS Housing Officials to formally open St. Augustine Terrace in The Bronx, a new, 112-unit apartment building for low income families.
The new building – the first in 50-years to be built on the site of a former church – was designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning and constructed by MEGA Contracting Group. The LEED Gold Certified building was financed under NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development’s Extremely Low and Low-income Affordability (ELLA) program highlighting the department’s dedication to creating new affordable housing opportunities.
At the opening, his Eminence Cardinal Dolan, rang a symbolic bell, marking the connection between the sacred church that served this community for over 150 years and the apartments that will provide homes for these New Yorkers. The bell is now a part of the permanent structure at the entrance.
“This land was sacred before and is so once again,” Cardinal Dolan said. “The church is strongly committed to social justice and ensuring that having a home is a sacred human right. We are delighted that we could transform this church property into homes for New Yorkers with the greatest needs.”
An additional 35 of the units at St. Augustine will be set aside for adults with mental illness, creating much-needed homes for individuals who are often marginalized and segregated in the larger community.
“The Catholic Church is a leading partner in the City’s work to make housing more affordable and accessible for families, and I congratulate them on this exciting milestone,” said New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray. “With supportive housing, New Yorkers living with serious mental illness can live on their own, with the services and support they need to stay healthy. I am proud to stand with Catholic Charities today as we build a fairer, healthier city for all.” Beacon of Hope, a division of Catholic Charities Community Services, will provide social services to those individuals with mental illness living at St. Augustine Terrace.
“St. Augustine Terrace is a shining example of what we can accomplish when we work with our colleagues in various levels of government and partner with mission-driven organizations that serve as pillars in communities to create projects that will have a long lasting and meaningful impact for New York families,” said Acting HPD Commissioner Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to the dedication of Catholic Homes, the Archdiocese of New York and our partners in City and State government, 112 households now have a safe and deeply affordable place to call home.”
Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, the head of Catholic Charities of New York, also announced today that Catholic Homes New York, the affordable housing arm of Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New York City, will develop 2,000 affordable units over the next ten-years, doubling the number of units built and overseen by the Catholic Church in the archdiocese in the last 40 years.
“Today, the Catholic Church of New York City is taking the lead in ensuring that low-income New Yorkers have access to well built, well maintained housing, along with the services to help those with the greatest needs.” Monsignor Sullivan also explained that Catholic Homes of New York oversees 2,336 units of affordable housing in three boroughs and Yonkers, New York at 15 sites. With today’s announcement, the number will increase to over 4,000 by 2029.
Design and public approvals have begun for five new developments the Bronx - St. Vincent de Paul Senior Residence (89 units), Second Farms (319 units), Christopher Court (160 units), St. Philip Neri (177 units) - and Manhattan, Grand Street Guild (400 units). A new website was unveiled highlighting the housing initiative under Catholic Homes New York.
Since the 1970s, Catholic Charities and parishes have developed over 2,000 units of low-income and affordable housing throughout the five boroughs. Today, in response to the tremendous need for affordable housing, the Archdiocese has undertaken a comprehensive review of properties to identify areas where existing properties can be developed as affordable housing.