Health-Oriented Low Income Community Opens in the Bronx
Bronx, N.Y.—An eight-story, 124-unit asset known as the Arbor House has opened in the Bronx. The Les Bluestone development has a health and sustainability focus and is part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing by the close of 2014 fiscal year. There are 16 studios, 33 one-bedroom units and 75 two-bedroom units. The units are designated for low-income households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, or $49,800 for a family of four.
The asset features a rooftop hydroponic farm that will provide fresh produce to the residents. The farm will be operated by Sky Vegetables, a Boston-based urban agriculture company. Residents are able to purchase shares in what gets produced, and 40 percent of the produce will be available to the community through local outreach to schools, hospitals and markets.
“Arbor House is a model of urban innovation which grows the community, grows the economy and grows farm fresh produce in the South Bronx,” says Darryl Towns, commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership this state-of-the-art affordable housing complex brings healthy green housing and living to the community, with enough fresh vegetables to provide for 450 people annually.”
Arbor House has also received LEED Platinum certification. The 100 percent smoke-free facility has a living green wall in the lobby that contributes to air quality, and anti-obesity services including outdoor and indoor fitness areas, and stairways that feature music and artwork to promote walking.