Bronx Affordable Housing Development Opens

The $52 million project is located in the Mount Eden neighborhood and will provide 126 units and supportive services.

111 East 172nd St. Rendering courtesy of Peter L. Woll Architect P.C.

A $52 million development providing 126 affordable and supportive apartments to low-income New Yorkers, including formerly homeless individuals and people living with mental illness, has opened in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx.

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The newly constructed 14-story building is located at 111 E. 172nd St. near the Grand Concourse. It was developed by Community Access Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1974 to provide supportive housing and social services for people with mental health concerns. Community Access will manage the property and provide on-site services for the building’s 60 supportive housing units. The organization will have six full-time on-site program staff. There will be a 24-hour front desk service and a consulting psychiatrist who will be at the building four hours a week. Services will include individual counseling, self-help groups, group activities, medication management assistance along with educational, vocational and employment referrals.

All the units, which are a mix of studios and two-bedroom apartments, are affordable to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). Resident amenities include a community room with a commercial kitchen, exercise room, computer room/library and laundry room. The building will also have an “urban farm” with a greenhouse and raised plant beds. Other green features include solar panels and a co-generation system with a back-up generator. Under construction for the past 2 ½ years, the building is LEED-certified and complies with Enterprise Green Communities standards.

Financing effort 

The project was financed through public and private resources and is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $20 billion, five-year housing plan to build or preserve more than 100,000 affordable units and 6,000 with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved affordable housing for more than 39,000 people.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided $20 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds and federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $22 million in equity, and an additional capital subsidy of about $1.2 million. The New York State Office of Mental Health provided $13.5 million in construction capital, $250,000 for furniture, fixtures and equipment and also provided funding for on-site social services. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) also provided $150,000 in funds. New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development provided $3.3 million through its Supportive Housing Loan Program. The NYC Acquisition Fund the Corporation for Supportive Housing financed the acquisition of the construction site. Citi and Richman Housing Resources also provided funding for the development.

Two weeks ago, the first 161 residential units of La Central, a large-scale mixed-use project that will eventually have nearly 1,000 mixed-income apartments, opened at 626 Bergen Ave. in the Melrose section of the Bronx. The first $67 million development will become home to formerly homeless individuals, those living with HIV/AIDS and low-income working adults. 

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