HUD attends 10th Anniversary of Unique Bronx Senior Development

[Photo: HUD Region II D/RA Mirza Orriols]
HUD Region II D/RA Mirza Orriols

HUD Deputy Regional Administrator Mirza Orriols recently attended the 10th Anniversary of the PSS/WSF Grandparent Family Apartments (GFA), the nation's first housing complex designed to meet the unique needs of grandparents raising grandchildren (kinship families). The sponsor of the complex, PSS, is a pioneer leader in providing kinship services to residents of the Bronx and other groups throughout New York City. West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH) joined with PSS to develop and manage the building, while PSS provides GFA residents with needed social, educational, and support services.

"I am pleased to attend this wonderful celebration that honors the special living arrangements of grandparents raising their grandchildren," said Ms. Orriols. "What makes this apartment complex so special is that it provides our seniors with the support they need to nurture and guide their grandchildren so that they have the tools they need to become successful adults."

In New York City, approximately 84,000 grandparents report that they are living with their grandchildren. Grandparent Family Apartments has become a role model for other developers in creating this unique living arrangement, and is the only residence of its kind in New York State. The complex builds upon HUD's very own Section 202 Program that provides over 15,000 units of affordable and supportive housing to New York City's low-income elderly.

"AARP estimates that nationally there are 4.5 million children living in grandparent-headed households. The Grandparent Family Apartments is a unique response to this reality and provides innovative housing in combination with supportive services that allows both grandparents and their grandchildren to thrive. WSFSSH is proud to have partnered with PSS to develop this nationally recognized model," said Paul Freitag, WSFSSH Executive Director.

Grandparent Family Apartments is home to 55 grandparents and 90 grandchildren. The apartment complex was designed to meet the needs of both older adults and children. The building offers 24-hour front desk service, a library, senior and youth community rooms, and a roof garden and recreational area. The building's PSS Kinship Program offers a wide variety of services to both age groups and others in need of support.

The celebration included remarks from PSS Executive Director Rimas Jasin, WSFSSH Executive Director Paul Freitag, and various elected officials and community leaders. In addition, several of the original resident grandparents and youth shared their memories of life at Grandparent Family Apartments.


Content Archived: February 1, 2017