BRONX, NY, July 19, 2016–The Doe Fund and New York State officials, including Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner James S. Rubin, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts (OTDA) and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker (DOH), today announced that construction is underway on Webster Green, a 100 percent affordable housing development in the Norwood section of the Bronx.
Webster Green is part of Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented commitment to affordable housing and community renewal, which includes $20 billion in the FY 2017 Budget for comprehensive statewide housing and homelessness action plans. The $29.5 million new development, located at 3100 Webster Avenue, will provide 82 affordable apartments for vulnerable New Yorkers, including 41 homes for low-income individuals with health-related issues. Onsite social, medical and support services will help stabilize their treatment protocols and successfully integrate residents into the community. Financing for the project was provided by HCR, OTDA, DOH and other public and private partners.
Fifty percent of Webster Green’s 82 apartments, developed by The Doe Fund, will be reserved for eligible low-income households at or below 60 percent of area median income, with preference for local area residents who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The remaining supportive housing apartments will go to low-income adults with disabilities. Gross rents – rent plus utilities – for the units will range from $852 to $1,096.
Outdoor recreation space, a community room and residence lounges will complement the high efficiency LEED certified building and foster resident engagement to help tenants achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles and self-sufficiency. Support program offices will be co-located on site per the successes of the supportive housing model that provides better health outcomes in place of repeated costly hospitalizations for high-need Medicaid clients.
Assembly Member Mark Gjonaj said: “Like so many other Bronx natives, I’ve seen the tough times and I have fought hard to turn the tide of disinvestment and make sure that my home district gets the resources it needs and deserves. From the start, I dedicated my career to the idea that you can only get out of a community what you put into it. And we Bronxites have a lot of heart and soul to give in aid of our home borough – our efforts and advocacy are paying off in a big way in the form of these new apartments on Webster Avenue and many other developments and community improvements that New York State, thanks to Governor Cuomo, has financed and is making a reality.”
Borough President Rubin Diaz, Jr. said: “Once again, The Bronx is proving itself to be the borough of opportunity, growth and inclusiveness. This new apartment complex will provide good quality, beautiful, affordable homes for our working families and for our residents who need our support and a helping hand up in order to live stable, productive and personally rewarding lives. The State of New York, thanks to Governor Cuomo, has once again stepped up as a partner to make more affordable, environmentally sustainable housing available in the Bronx – and we welcome it.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin said: “Governor Cuomo has set the bar very high in addressing the affordable housing and homelessness crisis, and HCR is fully mobilized and on-track to break production records as we have for the last two years. The community has come together to bring state-of-the-art housing to the Bronx, thanks to our public and private partners. Supportive housing provides stability and better recovery and health results for high-need Medicaid clients than costly hospitalizations that don’t treat the underlying chronic addiction issues. Safe decent housing is a precursor to recovery and ending the undertow of homelessness.”
Former State Senator and Special Advisor for Policy and Community Affairs at Homes and Community Renewal Ruth Hassell-Thompson said: “As this district’s former senator, I’m excited to celebrate the start of a project that is both smart for the Bronx and the environment. Webster Green Apartments is a forward-looking state-of-the-art sustainable development that expands affordable housing opportunities for the Bronx and will help more than 80 New Yorkers find a safe haven they can call home.”
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said: “Governor Cuomo believes that supportive housing is the most appropriate and effective solution to addressing and reducing homelessness and this project will help do just that. The housing and services the tenants will receive at Webster Green Apartments will have long-term, positive impacts on their lives. This is a project that truly reflects the needs of the community, providing affordable apartments for people at a range of income levels, with services to those who require them in order to remain stably housed.”
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said: “Many New Yorkers with medical needs can benefit from the safety of stable housing and support services. In addition to being cost-efficient, stable housing that features on-site supportive health services helps persons living with disability or illness better manage their care and also helps them to enjoy a better quality of life.”
The Doe Fund Founder and President George T. McDonald said: “All of us at The Doe Fund are so proud to join our partners from the city, the state, and the financial sector to make affordable housing a reality New Yorkers in need. Webster Green is a true collaboration between the public and private sectors and will stand as a model of what can be accomplished for our fellow citizens when we all work together. We’re so pleased to be a part of our city’s and state’s commitment to making New York a place where people can live safely, securely, and as part of a vibrant, flourishing community. Thanks to our partners, Webster Green will be much more than a place to live; it will be a place to call home.”
Jennifer Trepinski, Senior Loan Officer at Corporation for Supportive Housing, said: “Webster Green will become a home for vulnerable, low-income New Yorkers who are high-utilizers of Medicaid services, providing them a safe and supportive platform from which to stabilize their health and move forward with their lives. As a member of New York State’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), CSH is eager to embrace projects that improve the quality of Medicaid while saving dollars and we are proud to have made an early-stage $3M loan to Webster Green for land acquisition and predevelopment costs.”
On June 24th, HCR released new financing to build 1,200 supportive housing units, fully funding the first of the five-year plan to build 6,000 supportive housing units. Over the next five years, the $10 billion housing initiative will create and preserve 100,000 affordable housing units across the state, and the $10 billion homelessness action plan will create 6,000 new supportive housing beds, 1,000 emergency beds, and a variety of expanded homelessness services.
The state invested more than $12.2 million to finance The Doe Fund’s development of Webster Green, including: a $1.2 million allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits and a $4.5 million Medicaid Redesign Team program loan through HCR; $6.5 million in Homeless Housing Assistance Program funds through OTDA; and a $159,000 New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) energy efficiency grant. The state’s investment leveraged $12.8 million in tax credit equity along with $4.6 million in financing from Citibank, with part of the financing coming from settlement funds.
The Governor established the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) in 2012 with the mission of identifying more positive therapeutic results for Medicaid clients while simultaneously identifying savings on Medicaid expenditures. In what was a win for the state and a win for vulnerable New Yorkers, the MRT found $34.3 billion in savings for taxpayers, with Medicaid Redesign Team Program funding subsidizing supportive housing.
ABOUT THE DOE FUND
Founded in 1985 by homeless advocate George T. McDonald, The Doe Fund provides life-transforming services, supportive and transitional housing, and economic opportunity for formerly homeless and incarcerated men, veterans, and people living with AIDS.
Through its pioneering work in social enterprise, including the acclaimed Ready, Willing & Able program, The Doe Fund reduces recidivism, improves the quality of life in city neighborhoods, and fosters permanent economic independence among its clients.
Webster Green is the most recent example of The Doe Fund’s development of affordable and supportive housing for vulnerable populations, including the formerly homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.
ABOUT NEW YORK STATE HOMES AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) includes the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. 2016 marks the fourth year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NY program, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. In 2015, HCR set a record for financing the creation or preservation of more than 11,000 affordable homes and apartments and was the #1 bond issuer in the nation with $2.5 billion issued. The agency stands ready to make good on the Governor’s new $10 billion 100,000 unit House NY 2020 commitment. For more information on HCR programs and initiatives, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/
ABOUT THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
The New York State Department of Health’s unwavering commitment to protecting the health of all New Yorkers is reflected in all its activities, whether it’s improving access to health care or doing research to better understand disease. The mission at NYSDOH is to protect, improve and promote the health, productivity and well-being of all New Yorkers. Our vision is that New Yorkers will be the healthiest people in the nation, protected from health threats, and have access to quality, evidence-based, cost-effective health services.
# # #