HUD Celebrates Senior Housing Developments in the Bronx
With affordable senior housing in increasingly short supply, HUD Regional Administrator Holly Leicht had a message at the ribbon-cutting for the Woodlands and Council Towers VII, two new beautiful buildings developed with funding from HOME and HUD's Section 202 Program: don't stop investing in housing for seniors. As the aging population grows and rents continue to skyrocket, the demand for units where seniors can retire with dignity will only increase. Historically, federal funding has played a major role in financing this type of housing. Since its inception in 1959 (predating HUD as an agency by 6 years), the 202 program is estimated to have completed 25,000 units of senior housing across New York.
Yet despite this amazing record, 202 Capital Advances have not been funded by Congress since Fiscal Year 2011, and as a result the final federally-funded senior housing projects are nearing completion across New York and New Jersey. In December, Regional Administrator Leicht attended a groundbreaking in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, in what could be the last federal 202 project within New York City.
The results at the Woodlands and Council Towers VII speak for themselves: 180 units that include a full residential style kitchen area, equipped with refrigerator, range/oven combination, full size cabinets and countertop and a single basin sink and bathrooms equipped with a bathtub and vanity. All units are handicapped accessible. Building amenities include a laundry room, community room, landscaped sitting areas, a computer learning center, electronic surveillance equipment and security, parking, and an on-site superintendent and porter. The community room will host a variety of activities for seniors, including arts and crafts, exercise classes and bingo. Rooftop solar panels (pictured) increase the resilience and sustainability of the projects. Apartments in The Woodlands were filled from NYCHA's Section 8 waiting list through 100 project-based vouchers, while Council Towers VII will be filled via affordable housing lottery.
While Council Towers VII received a $12.8 million Section 202 construction loan, both projects received $5 million in HOME funding, another program that has faced potentially crippling cuts. HOME has invested nearly $3 billion in New York State since 1992, and only narrowly avoided proposed cuts of over 90%. Regional Administrator Leicht credited the robust partnerships between government at all levels and the private sector for the success of the project. In addition to HUD and funding and NYCHA vouchers, the projects received financing from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Development Corporation, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. She reminded the crowd that "these investments are critical to ensuring that communities remain vital and open to everyone, regardless of income or age."
Learn more about HUD's 202 Program and the HOME Investment Partnership Program on HUD's weebsite.
|Content Archived:January 18, 2018|