RELEASE: The Doe Fund Closes Financing for New Bronx Supportive Housing Project

151 New Affordable and Supportive Units to Start Construction in Foxhurst.

 

NEW YORK, NY— The Doe Fund closed on the construction housing financing for 980 Westchester Avenue in the Bronx. The project, a $71.6 million joint venture with Bolivar Development, LLC, will create 151 new affordable and supportive units utilizing state, city and local funds.

The project will advance Mayor de Blasio’s unprecedented Housing New York 2.0 plan which envisions 300,000 new affordable homes by 2026. The project’s multiple public/private funding sources include: federally tax-exempt bonds totaling $33.9 million issued by NYC’s Housing Development Corporation (“HDC”), a second mortgage from HDC’s Corporate Reserves through HDC’s Extremely Low & Low Income Affordability (“ELLA”) Program in the amount of $9.5 million, subsidy through New York City’s Department of Housing and Preservation Development (“HPD”) in the amount of $18.1 million, HPD 4% low-income housing tax credits totaling $26.2 million via Boston Financial Investment Management and their investor, Sterling National Bank, a Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (“FHLBNY”) grant of $2.4 million and $2 million in New York City Council discretionary funds from Bronx Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Jr., and NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson. The construction loans are being issued by JP Morgan Chase and Sterling National Bank. Supportive tenant rents and program expenses were secured by an award from the NYS Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. (“ESSHI”)

George McDonald, Founder and President of The Doe Fund, commented, “980 Westchester Avenue will bring much needed affordable housing with onsite supportive services to the Bronx. Thanks to the collaborative work of government, our nonprofit, and private sector partners, this building will soon offer a foundation of stability and beacon of hope to some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

“Upon completion, this energy-efficient development will provide the Foxhurst community with 151 affordable homes, in addition to a range of invaluable supportive services for those in greatest need,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Congratulations to The Doe Fund and all our partners for their dedication to bringing greater opportunity and well-being to the future residents of 980 Westchester Avenue.”

“Quality and affordable housing is critical to the fabric of every community,” said Marcus Randolph, Vice President, Community Development Banking, Chase. “That’s why we’re proud to work with The Doe Fund on supporting this development for Bronx area residents.”

The building’s elegant design, conceived by GF55 Partners, emphasizes sharp gray shades and contemporary surface materials to reflect the transit nature of the neighborhood. The site is only a block away from the Simpson Street station, served by 2 subway lines. The cellar and first floor will have a combined 28,000 sq. ft. commercial space that will be separately financed and managed. The remaining six floors will contain 47 studios, 64 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units and 17 three-bedroom units. There will also be one 2 bedroom unit for a live-in superintendent. Each apartment will have a private bathroom, an energy efficient kitchen, and access to a large community room and landscaped outdoor terrace. Laundry facilities, a computer room and bike storage will be on-site as well as offices for program staff. Additionally, 24 hour front desk professional security will be provided. A range of affordable income levels will be served but all will fall below 70% of Area Median Income.

In accordance with HPD’s “Build Up” Program, minority and women-owned business enterprises are eligible to participate in the construction activities and are encouraged to apply through HPD.

The Doe Fund will provide supportive services such as substance abuse counseling, comprehensive case management and help in accessing career options and educational training to 31 units. Residents for these units will come from NYC’s Health and Resource Administration (“HRA”) client referral system. The balance of the units will be rented through a lottery conducted by The Doe Fund via NYC’s Housing Connect.

Construction will start in January 2020 and take an estimated 24 months to complete. The Doe Fund will be involved in every aspect of the lease-up process and marketing activities. In an effort to maintain resident satisfaction and adherence to underwriting requirements, the project will be managed by The Doe Fund’s growing real estate portfolio.

Upon completion, the project will seek “gold award status” as a prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building. As the most widely used green building rating system in the world, this gold standard will ensure environmental and economic efficiencies to benefit both residents and investor partners.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Elizabeth Lion, The Doe Fund (347-522-0706, elion@doe.org)

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