175 New Affordable Homes, Community Health Services and Expanded Senior Center In South Bronx

Published on May 21, 2019, 10:10 pm
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of Tres Puentes Senior Apartments, a $117.7 million affordable senior housing development that is continuing revitalization efforts in South Bronx. The development includes 175 apartments for seniors and individuals with special needs and 10,000 square feet of health-orientated commercial and community space, and expands the existing Borinquen Court Senior Center that provides services for residents and neighborhood seniors.

“The completion of Tres Puentes Senior Apartments is another important step in our ongoing initiative to build more affordable apartments and a stronger Bronx community,” Governor Cuomo said. “By creating this mixed-use development we are not only increasing access to safe, affordable homes and services for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers, we are stimulating economic growth and continuing the revitalization happening in Bronx.”

“This development will be life-changing for seniors in the Bronx, providing them affordable, high-quality housing options and ensuring they have the support services they need to lead healthy and secure lives,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Our investments are not just about dollars and cents. It’s about creating hope for those who need a helping hand. This project is part of our overall efforts to increase affordable housing across the state and combat homelessness in our communities. It also builds on our economic development efforts in the Bronx to revitalize the area and enhance quality of life.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said, “Our seniors invested in Bronx during our most difficult times and we cannot forget about them now that we are enjoying a renaissance. This development will be a model for how we should be taking care of seniors and individuals with special needs, to empower them in being as active as possible and ensure that they have accesses to the services they need. Thank you to New York State Homes & Community Renewal for making this project a reality.”

Located at 285 East 138th Street and 2550 3rd Avenue in the Mott Haven neighborhood of Bronx, the Tres Puentes complex includes a newly constructed 11-story building with 119 apartments and an 8-story building with 56 apartments. There are 45 studio apartments and 130 one-bedroom apartments. All apartments will be available to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income.

Fifty-three of the apartments are reserved for households in which at least one member lives with serious mental illness. The project’s developer, West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, will provide support services for these apartments. Services include individual case management, healthcare management, mental health and entitlement services, socialization programs and financial training. Twenty-three of the supportive units are funded through the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.

Tres Puentes Senior Apartments has a community room, a laundry room on each floor and an outdoor landscaped area. All the buildings in the complex are connected by a covered walkway. The development also has 10,000 square feet of retail and community facility space. This includes 4,500 square feet for a community health center operated by Urban Health Plan, Inc.; 1,300 square feet for a small locally owned pharmacy; and 3,300 square feet to expand the existing Borinquen Court Senior Center, which provides meals and other services residents and local seniors.

The two newly constructed buildings flank the existing Borinquen Court Apartments, a 145-unit affordable senior housing development originally constructed as a HUD Section 202 property and now owned by the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. The Borinquen Court Apartments property was subdivided to allow for the construction of Tres Puentes Senior Apartments.

The development was designed to comply with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Multifamily Performance Program guidelines. Energy efficient features include Energy Star heating and cooling equipment, appliances and light fixtures; water-conserving plumbing fixtures; daylight sensors on exterior lighting; and green roofs to mitigate storm runoff. Both buildings have back-up power generators.

State financing for the $117.7 million project includes $25.6 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $49.6 million in equity, $6.1 million in Medicaid Redesign Team funds and an additional $1.5 million from the Community Investment Fund from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The development received New York State brownfield tax credits that generated over $5.8 million in equity. NYSERDA provided $202,200. The New York State Office of Mental Health will provide approximately $900,000 annually for the onsite supportive services through a combination of Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and agency funds.

Additional financing included $13 million from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Senior Affordable Rental Apartments Program and $600,000 from the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and the New York City Council provided $3 million.

The Governor’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the State’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multi-family and single-family housing and community development. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested more than $1 billion in the Bronx, creating or preserving affordable housing for more than 39,000 people.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Tres Puentes Senior Apartments brings 175 affordable and supportive homes to the South Bronx, creating a welcoming community for seniors and those in need of support services. This is just another example of Governor Cuomo’s investment in revitalizing neighborhoods, strengthening the economy and increasing housing opportunities in the Bronx through partnerships with the city and local community organizations.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “New York State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is a powerful tool that has successfully cleaned up hundreds of formerly contaminated properties to protect public health and the environment and return these sites to productive use. This incredible project will bring quality affordable senior housing opportunities to this community, as well as essential support services where they are most needed.”

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “This project highlights how energy efficiency plays a key role in creating healthier, energy saving spaces for New York’s aging population. By working together, under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are able to provide residents with the comfort, quality and affordability they seek in their homes.”

New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Supportive housing helps reduce homelessness and the need for costly emergency room visits. More importantly, it provides vulnerable individuals and families with safe, affordable, stable homes and the services they need to make their way toward recovery. Tres Puentes Senior Apartments is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, and the 53 beautiful supportive housing units will allow people with mental illness to live and thrive in their own home and community.”

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Louise Carroll said, “Seniors represent the fastest growing segment of NYC’s population, which is why this administration has left no stone unturned to create and preserve senior housing at record pace. By harnessing underutilized land and a parking lot at Borinquen Court, today we celebrate the opening of 175 new affordable apartments for seniors alongside an expanded community center, a new health center, and a pharmacy. Tres Puentes marries health and housing to serve the comprehensive needs of seniors, a model that we hope to replicate more often as we push forward with our plan. I want to thank the State, the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, and the development team for partnering with us to address the urgent housing needs of our city’s seniors.”

Senator Jose M. Serrano said, “As we tackle the affordability crisis, it’s critical to provide our seniors with stable, affordable housing, while connecting them to the services they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. The Tres Puentes Senior Apartments will protect our most vulnerable neighbors from homelessness and displacement, while allowing them to remain in the community they call home.”

New York City Council Member Diana Ayala said, “Tres Puentes Senior Apartments are a stellar addition to the Mott Haven neighborhood. These apartments will house many of our local seniors in an environment where they’ll feel dignified and supported by various health, social, and recreational services. I am proud to support this expansion and thank West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, as they are a mission-driven affordable housing developer that has repeatedly delivered on our community’s needs.”

Paul Freitag, Executive Director, West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc., said, “The Tres Puentes campus reflects the possibility for positive social change when community members, governments and nonprofits work together. Together, we can ensure that development in the South Bronx is responsible, that it supports the local community and meaningfully improves lives.”

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