Unique Affordable Housing Project for Formerly Homeless and Incarcerated Women Gets Funding
- Nov 22, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Writer
New York—The demand for housing for low-income residences grows stronger, and even more so for a particular subsector of the group that frequently goes ignored. Formerly homeless and incarcerated women and their families have even fewer options for affordable housing, but a group of private and public organizations has come together to develop the $9.4 million Hour Apartment III in Long Island City, Queens, to create 18 units to help address the problem.
Non-profits Hour Children and Enterprise Community Partners, along with a bevy of local and state agencies are behind the project, which will provide permanent, supportive affordable residences for the aforementioned target group. Located at 36-11 12th St, Hour III will offer sizeable two- and three-bedroom units to accommodate larger families. Residences can also avail themselves of such amenities as a community room, children’s playground, a private garden, as well as on-site supportive services. The building will also become home to Hour Children’s new offices.
Hour II will also be sustainable. The apartment community, designed by Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architects, will meet the requirements for Enterprise Green Communities Certification, the only national green building rating program specifically for affordable housing projects.
A long list of avid supporters of Hour III helped cull the $9.4 million in permanent financing to make the multifamily property a reality. Enterprise contributed $2.9 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity, while the New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation and New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development came through with roughly $3.5 million and $1.1 million, respectively. Additionally, the Corporation for Supportive Housing-Acquisition provided a $900,000 predevelopment loan, Queens Borough President Capital supplied $700,000 and Hour Children provided $500,000 in equity. Additionally, there was a general partner capital contribution of increased land value 549,000
“As the State agency charged with providing assistance to the low-income families of our state, we recognize the many challenges women who were formerly incarcerated face when returning to the community—lack of a place to live, substance abuse or mental health issues, lack of education and the skills needed to become employed,” Elizabeth Berlin, executive deputy commissioner at the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, noted in a prepared statement. “The supportive housing units being constructed by Hour Children will help residents address all of these issues and build foundations for a better future for themselves and their children.”