Affordable Passive House Community Breaks Ground in NYC

The 152-unit building in the South Bronx is reserved for formerly homeless and low-income seniors.

Rendering of Betances Residence. Image courtesy of Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground, a New York-based supportive housing developer, has broken ground on Betances Residence, a 152-unit affordable community for formerly homeless and low-income seniors in the Mott Haven neighborhood of New York City. The building is being built to Passive House standards and is one of only a few supportive communities in the city to be built to the rigorous energy-efficient standard.

The development secured funding through several local entities, including the New York City Council, Bronx Borough President’s Office, HPD, HDC, OTDA/HHAC and Wells Fargo Bank. The Corporation for Supportive housing provided pre-development funds and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust purchased tax-exempt bonds to finance the project.

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Betances Residence is being supported through a commitment by the New York City Housing Authority and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development that focuses on building affordable housing on underutilized land.

Designed by COOKFOX Architects, Betances Residence will span 120,000 square feet across two eight-story residential buildings at 443 E. 142nd St. The unit mix includes 22 one-bedroom apartments and 130 studio apartments. The community will feature a 24-hour attended lobby, a laundry room, digital library and computer lab, multipurpose room for events and programming, and a landscaped courtyard and terrace spaces. Additionally, the project will offer on-site social services for all residences as well as a 4,700 square feet of community facility space that will be occupied by a local nonprofit.

The development is one of several energy-efficient affordable housing developments for seniors being built in New York City right now. In East Harlem, a partnership of L+M Development Partners, Jonathan Rose Cos. and Acacia Network is building Sendero Verde, a 100 percent affordable Passive House community that will house nearly 700 apartment units. In May, The Tres Puentes Senior Apartments, a 175-unit affordable community for seniors in Mott Haven, officially opened its doors.

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