New York—Multiple federal and state government agencies, along with members of non-profit organizations, politicians and residents celebrated the grand opening of HANAC-PCA Senior Residences Friday in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, N.Y.
Groups involved in the development of the community include the Hellenic-American Neighborhood Action Committee (HANAC), Presbyterian Church of Astoria (PCA), the New York City Department of Housing Preservations and Development (HPD), the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The community, which was developed on the former site of the Presbyterian Church of Astoria, has added 66 new green units to the affordable senior housing market and was designed to Enterprise Green Community standards.
“HANAC-PCA Senior Residence is a critical example of how underutilized, faith-based sites can be used to create new housing in a city where land is scarce and the need for affordable housing is great,” says John Kaiteris, executive director and CEO at HANAC. “With HANAC-PCA Senior Residence, not only can the building’s 90 seniors age in place gracefully, but also get the care, socialization and attention they deserve.”
The project cost was $23.7 million, with HUD providing a large portion with a Section 202 Capital Advance Fund Reservation of $10.6 million and a pre-development grant of $399,608. HPD gave $2.1 million in federal HOME loan funding, while the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York provided a $600,000 grant. Individually, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall gave $1.5 million in Reso A funding to the project and Former New York State Senator George Onorato provided a $300,000 Capital Grant. HCR is contributing $8.5 million in LIHTC with Enterprise acting as the tax credit syndicator.
The six-story building, located at 31-34 33rd Street in Astoria, comprises 56 one-bedroom units, nine studio apartments and a two-bedroom superintendent’s unit. The target demographic of the community is low income seniors aged 62 years old and up that have incomes at or below 50 percent of the Area Medium Income (AMI) or the equivalent individual annual income of $29,050, according to 2012 figures.
The community amenities feature community facility areas, a community room with full kitchen, a social services office, as well as a vegetable garden and bocce ball court. With the help of Enterprise, the community was able to develop to standards that achieved Enterprise Green Community criteria, which included a high-efficiency heating system, installation of water conserving fixtures, landscape gardens that in native trees and plants and Energy Star label appliances, all of which will help the community use 20 percent less energy in its operations.
“New York City’s high cost of living makes it challenging for low-income seniors to age in quality, safe, and affordable homes within their community,” says Daniel Magidson, vice president at Enterprise. “Thanks to HANAC-PCA Senior Residence’s commitment to energy efficiency and design, as well as its comprehensive services, 90 of Astoria’s seniors now have a stable, vibrant and supportive community to help them age gracefully.”