Breaking New Ground

DSC_0496-smallWhen police blocked off a section of Morris Avenue in University Heights, the Bronx, and neighbors saw a tent, podium and dozens of chairs appear in front of a construction site, they were understandably curious.  And when the sound of construction machinery was hushed, they knew something was about to happen.  And they were right: it was the Groundbreaking ceremony for the new mixed-use affordable and supportive housing building at 2264 Morris Ave.

The chairs were filled by representatives of New York State and New York City agencies, Bronx Pro Group LLC, the community and other project partners who had come together to celebrate the start of construction on the Morris Avenue Apartments located between 182nd and 183rd Streets in the University Heights neighborhood of the Bronx.  When this building is completed around December 2017 it will have 11 stories and 94 units of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents while also providing permanent supportive housing for people in need of mental health support.  Of the 94 units of affordable housing 14 will serve moderate-income individuals and families and 48 are set aside for low-income individuals and families earning anywhere from $29,400 to $50,340 annually.  The remaining 31 supportive units for individuals with mental illness are reserved for 17 young adults with mental illness aging out of foster care and other institutions and 14 homeless adults with mental illness.

This $47 million development project is possible thanks to financing by the State and City of New York. NYS funding sources including $23.5 million in tax-exempt bonds from HCR, $5.8 million from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s New York State Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), an $820,000 Homes for Working Families (HWF) loan, and up to $9.3 million in permanent capital funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). The development of this long vacant land into affordable housing will be financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan. The City of New York is providing a $7.05 million loan through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), federal HUD Section 8 rental vouchers and a 420-c tax abatement. OMH will also provide debt service payments on a portion of the permanent loan and will provide $857,800 in annual funding for on-site social services for the Supportive Housing tenants.  Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) provided $3.9 million in acquisition and predevelopment funding.  Chase will act as the bond letter of credit provider and Red Stone Equity Partners LLC will act as tax credit investor.

“This project is one of the first housing developments that incorporates supported, low- and moderate-income housing,” said S:US CEO Donna Colonna. “In many ways we believe this integration makes for the best and healthiest communities.  S:US is pleased to be at the forefront of this new mixed housing model that is so closely aligned with our own values and mission.”

Read the Press Release to learn more about this building and see what our project partners–including the State and City agencies—had to say about it.

Click here to watch News12 coverage of this event

Click below on the arrows to watch a slideshow of this event.

Photo credit: S:US

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