For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 22, 2019
Contact: General HPD Press Contact, hpdmedia@hpd.nyc.gov

 

City, State, and Elected Officials Joined Breaking Ground and Project Partners to Celebrate the Groundbreaking of a New Passive House Supportive Senior Residence in the South Bronx

152 New Units for Formerly Homeless and Low-Income Seniors, Including Current NYCHA Residents

Photo by Joseph Lara

BRONX, NEW YORK – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance/Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation (OTDA/HHAC) today joined Breaking Ground, elected officials, and project partners to break ground on 152 units of affordable and supportive housing in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx. Betances Residence will include new community facility space, landscaped terrace and courtyard. The development will be Breaking Ground’s first Passive House project, and among only a handful of supportive residences in the City to embrace such a rigorous energy use standard. The Betances Residence development is part of a commitment by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to identify underutilized land for new affordable homes.

 “Access to safe, stable, and affordable housing can transform the lives of vulnerable populations like low-income seniors, families, and the formerly homeless,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “Thanks to our partners at Breaking Ground and our colleagues at NYCHA and HDC, hundreds of households will soon celebrate a new beginning when this affordable new construction is complete. I want to thank our development partners and local elected officials for their sincere dedication to providing affordable housing opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

“Betances Residence will bring greater security and wellness to 152 formerly homeless and low-income seniors," said HDC President Eric Enderlin. "Thanks to all our nonprofit, government, and private sector partners, for their dedication to ensuring some of our city's most vulnerable will have the support they need in a safe, affordable, and healthy living environment."

“We are thrilled to break ground on Betances Residence today, and celebrate the creation of 152 new apartments for seniors who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness. Seniors are the fastest growing population in New York, and Betances helps ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors can age-in-place without the constant fear of losing their home,” said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground. “We are especially grateful to NYCHA and our government partners, whose commitment to expanding affordable housing is unmatched. It is a privilege to continue to invest in the South Bronx and bring this beautiful, sustainable residence – along with programs for children with our partners at DreamYard – to the Mott Haven community.”

“NYCHA is pleased to celebrate the groundbreaking for Betances Residence, which will bring 152 new affordable apartments for seniors with onsite supportive resources to the Mott Haven community,” said NYCHA Senior Vice President of Real Estate Jonathan Gouveia. “Thanks to Breaking Ground, HPD, HDC and our partners, this environmentally friendly development will put to good use underutilized NYCHA land for the community and directly serve formerly homeless and low-income senior households  - providing crucial housing and community services for those that need it most."

“My office is always working to provide innovative new housing opportunities to Bronx residents, which is why I provided $250,000 in capital funds to help make this project a reality. The Betances Senior Residence will help keep longtime Bronx residents in their borough while also providing high-quality affordable housing units to one of our most vulnerable populations, and I am thrilled to support this project,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“As the Council Member of District 8, I am incredibly proud to welcome Betances Residence to the South Bronx. This development will bring 152 new units of senior housing to the district, all of which will be affordable and equipped with amenities to maximize the well-being of tenants,” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “As rates of senior homelessness continue to rise, it is crucial that our city support projects like these. I am delighted to have secured $500,000 for this residence with Speaker Corey Johnson and I thank Breaking Ground, NYCHA, HPD, and HDC for this investment to Mott Haven.”

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, “This project clearly reflects the needs of the community, not only providing much-needed housing for formerly homeless senior citizens, but ensuring the availability of supportive services that enhance residents’ ability to live independently. We are pleased to once again work with Breaking Ground and our city partners and look forward to the successful completion of this project.”

“Betances Residences is a fantastic example of New York City agencies maximizing resources, including land, to tackle the affordable housing and homelessness crisis,” said Jennifer Trepinski, Director of Loan Originations at the Corporation for Supportive Housing. “CSH provided a $500,000 predevelopment loan to ensure this underutilized public land would be used for the creation of new homes affordable to the most vulnerable, extremely low-income and aging New Yorkers. It also provides a beautiful creative space for underserved youth of the DreamYard Project. Breaking Ground’s vision for the exceptional environmental standard of passive house construction will benefit the entire neighborhood and lays the groundwork for a thriving residential community.”

“The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) has been committed to building and preserving affordable housing in New York City with pension capital for over 35 years.  In partnership with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York City, this 100% affordable project will be constructed using 100% union labor,” said Chang Suh, CEO of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust.  “When community organizations such as Breaking Ground make a commitment to address the affordability crisis while simultaneously creating quality, family-supporting jobs, the impact of the project reaches far beyond its walls.  The HIT is proud to be assisting with the financing of this important development.”

The 152 apartments at Betances Residence will serve formerly homeless and low-income senior households. Crucially, 26 of the units will have a preference for current residents of NYCHA apartments, allowing senior residents to continue to age-in-place while freeing up much-needed NYCHA units for larger households. The 120,000 square foot development will feature a 24-hour attended lobby, state of the art security systems, a laundry room, digital library and computer lab, multipurpose room for events and programming, and landscaped courtyard and terrace spaces. The building will also feature 4,700 square feet of community facility space to be occupied by the DreamYard Project, a Bronx-based nonprofit that creates arts and education opportunities for underserved youth.

Located between Willis and Brook Avenues on a site that spans 142nd to 143rd Streets, the building will feature two eight-story residential towers and provide 22 one-bedroom and 130 studio apartments. Onsite social services will be offered to all residents in the building by the Center for Urban Community Services, Breaking Ground’s long-standing partner, marking their 11th residential collaboration in over the past nearly 30 years. Betances Residence will be Breaking Ground’s seventh building in the Bronx and increase its total units under management in the borough to more than 1,100.

Betances Residence will be Breaking Ground's first Passive House development. The Passive House standard is among the most rigorous for reducing the energy footprint of residential and commercial developments. With a tight building envelope and engineered ventilation systems, the Passive House design will ensure a high indoor air quality for Breaking Ground’s senior tenants while achieving optimal energy cost efficiencies.  Designed by COOKFOX Architects, the building integrates biophilic design strategies, such as the incorporation of natural materials, patterns, and abundant natural light throughout, to enhance resident well-being. The entry to the building is focused on a framed view of the central organizing feature of the project, a verdant courtyard garden. Visible from both the sidewalk and the corridors of the residential floors, the garden will create connections between residents and the wider community, creating a cohesive pedestrian and residential experience.

The development is being financed with $58 million in tax-exempt bonds and subsidy from HDC, $23 million in SARA funds from HPD, $2.7 million in HHAP funds from OTDA, and approximately $39 million in equity generated from the sale of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Wells Fargo is serving as the tax credit investor and provided a letter of credit. The Corporation for Supportive housing provided pre-development funds.

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Breaking Ground is New York’s largest supportive housing provider. With 24 transitional and permanent housing residences under management, primarily in New York City, Breaking Ground provides safe, stable, beautiful housing for those who need it most. Breaking Ground also runs, under contract with DHS, street homeless outreach services in all of Brooklyn, Queens, and a portion of Manhattan. Since 1990, Breaking Ground has helped more than 14,000 people escape and avoid homelessness.

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: 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 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan. Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 180,000 housing units using over $23.5 billion in bonds and other debt obligations, and provided in excess of $2.9 billion in subsidy. HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers. In each of the last seven consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1 billion. For additional information, visit: http://www.nychdc.com.

New York City Housing Authority's (NYCHA) mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Over 390,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 316 public housing developments and PACT/RAD developments formerly managed by NYCHA around the five boroughs. Over 190,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.