September 19, 2019 – The Doe Fund, Robert Sanborn Development and New York State officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony to note the completion of Webster Green, a $30 million affordable and supportive housing development in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx. Webster Green provides 82 affordable apartments including 41 supportive homes for formerly homeless individuals and families.
“We are investing in projects in the Bronx to continue the growth and progress we see in Bedford Park and other neighborhoods,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Webster Green offers a health-oriented and energy-efficient home for 82 individuals and families, with half of the residents provided with case management and supportive services. This significant development is part of our unprecedented housing plan to build and preserve affordable homes, provide supportive services to those in need, and combat homelessness and enhance the quality of life for residents in the Bronx, New York City and across the State.”
Webster Green is part of Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented $20 billion commitment to delivering affordable housing and community renewal in the State of New York. The development consists of a single, eight-story building with a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Half 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.
“The Doe Fund’s development of affordable and supportive housing is a natural progression of the 30 years of work we have done in combating homelessness and the debilitating cycles of poverty, addiction and recidivism. Webster Green represents the collaborative model of development to meet the affordable housing challenges we face today in our State. Today, The Doe Fund has over 1 Million square feet of housing, and we thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to this issue, and our state, city and private sector partners for supporting our vision to development needed affordable housing for the communities and people we serve,” said George McDonald, President / Founder of The Doe Fund.
Lead architect Fernando Villa of MAP Architects designed the building to provide high-quality, affordable homes to low-income families and individuals with elements and considerations to optimize the health and wellbeing of these tenants. The building features include dedicated space to offer the co-location of supportive services and case management provided by The Doe Fund for those tenants receiving services.
“Webster Green will be a welcome home for vulnerable, low-income New Yorkers, providing them a safe and supportive platform from which to stabilize their health and move forward with their lives. CSH is eager to embrace housing that also improves access to healthcare, and we are proud to have made an early-stage $3M loan to The Doe Fund for Webster Green to cover land acquisition and predevelopment costs,” said Maygen Moore, Senior Community Investment Officer, Corporation for Supportive Housing.
Tenant amenities include a rear garden, a computer room, laundry facilities, bike room and a tenant lounge, to help support tenants to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles and self-sufficiency. The Bedford Park neighborhood has access to an indoor community room for community events and the facility features a range of art donated to The Doe Fund. Complementing these elements is high-efficiency Gold LEED certification.
“Citi is pleased to be a part of the financing of Webster Green. These homes will offer residents peace of mind in the form of safe, stable and affordable housing options,” said Tricia Yarger, Director, Citi Community Capital. “This new development will also help generate economic activity and positively impact its residents and the Bronx community for years to come.”
State financing for Webster Green included federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that were syndicated by Raymond James Tax Credit Funds Inc., and generated $12.8 million in equity and $4.5 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance provided $6.5 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $159,000. Citi provided a $13.7 million construction loan and $1.2MM in Citi subordinate debt on the project. The New York City Human Resources Administration is providing referrals for those tenants who will be receiving rental assistance for the 41 supportive apartments.
“This new development furthers our efforts to build and protect affordable housing across every neighborhood of the Bronx and throughout New York State,” Governor Cuomo said. “Webster Green will provide vulnerable Bronx residents with a safe place to call home, while offering the support and community services that they need to thrive.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are doing more than ever to reduce homelessness and create more affordable housing in the Bronx. Webster Green achieves both goals with 82 high quality apartments in an energy-efficient building. This development provides a secure and comfortable environment that will help residents achieve stability and live successful lives.”
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, “No New Yorker should be forced to manage the complexities of a disability while experiencing homelessness. Webster Green will serve as a beacon of stability for these individuals and their families, so they can receive the supportive services to manage their condition and start on the path to independence. Developments like this reaffirm Governor Cuomo’s tireless commitment to providing access to stable and affordable housing for all – especially our state’s most vulnerable residents.”
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to affordable, healthy, and energy efficient homes is a leading priority of Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal. Webster Green highlights how the state’s comprehensive strategy to support some of our most vulnerable residents leverages every opportunity to provide significant benefits for residents while reducing harmful emissions, creating safer, greener communities and protecting our environment for generations to come.”
Senator Jamaal Bailey said, “Housing is a human right- and the housing crisis has been affecting all areas of the state, especially in the Bronx. Projects like the Webster Green Apartments are vital in order to preserve affordable housing for Bronx residents and provide state of the art facilities. This apartment complex focuses on fighting the rampant issue of homelessness that the city is currently facing. The building has allocated apartments to residents who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless as well as supportive housing for adults with disabilities. I would like to thank the Doe Fund for spearheading this project and all the agencies and organizations that made this possible.”
Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez said, “Access to affordable housing is an issue throughout New York City. With growing rates of homelessness and more families being displaced, it is important that we establish affordable and supportive housing developments such as the Webster Green Apartments. Not only are these homes affordable, but the Doe Fund will also offer much needed space for services to these families. It is great to see these new homes in our borough servicing our most vulnerable.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “This development is a great example of how innovative and thoughtful development can be used as a tool in supporting vulnerable members of our community. We need to encourage more developments like this to ensure that we are meeting the needs of low-income, homeless and disabled Bronxites. Thank you to New York State Homes for your commitment to this project.”
Robert Sanborn of Robert Sanborn Development said, “The Doe Fund and Robert Sanborn Development came together with a vision to create healthy living combined with affordable rents. Webster Green achieved this with a design that enhances light, optimizes space and compliments best practices within the affordable housing industry. Our thanks to all the generous supporters who made this project a reality.”