Governor Hochul announces the start of construction on a $49 million affordable housing development in the Bronx
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction on a $49 million affordable and supportive housing project in the Wakefield section of the North Bronx. The Plains will provide 98 affordable, supportive housing units, including 49 units for adults who are homeless and living with HIV/AIDS, and another 20 apartments for people aged 62 and older.
“Sustained investment in creating and preserving safe and affordable housing for New Yorkers is a cornerstone of my administration,” Governor Hochul said. “This new development demonstrates our commitment to increasing the supply of quality housing in the Bronx and keeping our most vulnerable residents active, engaged and living healthier, more independent lives.”
The Plains is part of Governor Hochul’s broad plans to make housing more affordable, equitable and stable. In the recently enacted State Budget, the Governor introduced and successfully secured a new five-year, $25 billion comprehensive housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes in New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
The Plains will consist of a single nine-story building with 98 apartments at 4519 White Plains Road. All apartments will be affordable for households with an income equal to or less than 80% of the region’s median income.
Forty-nine apartments will be set aside for homeless adults who will have access to on-site support services funded by the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by The AIDS Institute. The Doe Fund will provide housing and clinical case management services to residents, including the coordination of mental health and medical care.
The project is designed to meet the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s LEED for Homes Gold energy efficiency standards. The building will have a green roof and photovoltaic solar panels. Other energy-efficient features will include high-efficiency, variable-flow electric HVAC systems; Bi-level Energy-Star LED lighting with motion sensors; Energy Star appliances; and low-flow plumbing fixtures.
Residential facilities will include a warehouse for tenants, offices for program staff, and a multi-purpose room for program and tenants, as well as 24/7 security and a resident superintendent. The residence will also include on-site laundry facilities, a fitness center and a private outdoor recreation area. The Plains is conveniently located near subway, bus and commuter train stations.
The development is a joint venture between The Doe Fund and Robert Sanborn Development.
State funding for The Plains includes federal low-income housing tax credits that will generate $25 million in equity and $9.7 million in grants from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Office for Temporary Help and Disability Assistance will provide $4.9 million through the Homeless Housing Assistance Program. NYSERDA will provide support of $78,800.
The Doe Fund obtained construction and permanent loans from the private sector through the Merchant’s Bank of Indiana and Freddie Mac, and the tax credit equity was syndicated through Richman Housing. The Corporation for Supportive Housing also provided a $4 million acquisition loan which included funds for pre-development.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said: “Over the past decade, UNHCR has invested more than $1.5 billion to create and preserve quality affordable housing, address homelessness and expand economic development in the Bronx. 49 apartments reserved for adults who need support services to achieve independence and stability. By working closely with our partners at the Doe Fund and Robert Sanborn Development, we can help the entire Wakefield community benefit from this new development.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said: “Housing instability can have major and often life-threatening consequences for New Yorkers living with a chronic illness, especially for people living with HIV. The Plains will provide both stable housing and supportive services for ensuring residents have what they need to stay healthy and live independently This project, like many others supported by the Housing and Homelessness Program, represents Governor Hochul’s unwavering commitment to ensure a safe and stable place to call home for all New Yorkers, including the most vulnerable among us.
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, said: “Once completed, The Plains Apartments will provide affordable, energy-efficient housing for low-income residents and seniors in the North Bronx with a range of supportive services and clean solar energy on site. This project supports the Governor Hochul’s commitment to reaching two million climate-friendly homes while ensuring that low-income New Yorkers have access to healthy, affordable housing and benefit equitably from the transition to a clean energy economy . »
Representative Jamaal Bowman said: “I commend The Doe Fund for putting people’s well-being first through this 98-unit development with supportive services that reflect the investments in the care centers we need to do more. New York has a devastating housing crisis, and the Bronx is the epicenter of this crisis. In the Bronx, we are seeing skyrocketing rents and record numbers of evictions since the start of this pandemic. This makes eliminating homelessness even further out of reach in the world’s wealthiest country – and a political failure. I am proud to support this initiative and will continue to push for more equitable, affordable and accessible housing through federal investments. – as with my bill The Affordable CO-OP Act that I introduced recently.
State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey said: “Safe, quality and affordable housing is a basic human right. This project will provide residents with high-quality affordable housing and the support resources they need to meet the immediate challenges of the pandemic and beyond. Our State is facing an unprecedented homelessness and housing crisis, and affordable housing is one of the most important tools we have to help vulnerable New Yorkers get back on their feet and achieve stability in term. I am delighted to celebrate the start of construction on this important project in my district and look forward to its completion.”
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said“There is no doubt that our city is in desperate need of truly affordable housing, especially for the elderly and those who need additional support structures to help maintain housing stability. I am glad UNHCR is continuing its efforts to promote the development of affordable housing in the Bronx, and I look forward to the completion of this project.”
Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson said: “It is a sad reality that we are in a housing crisis in New York, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for affordable, quality, safe and supportive housing is at an all-time high and is critical in our fight to reduce homelessness. I would like to thank New York State Homes & Community Renewal and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance for their support of this important project that will provide comprehensive amenities and services to our residents living with HIV/AIDS, our older adults and other vulnerable New Yorkers in the North Bronx.”
City Council member Eric Dinowitz said: “Affordable housing for vulnerable populations, including low-income people, formerly homeless people and seniors, must be accompanied by support systems. This is exactly what The Plains does, and the comprehensive services they will provide ensure that new tenants will not just have a roof over their head, but all of their needs are met. The housing crisis is affecting New Yorkers across the city, which is why I am so grateful and encouraged that this development serves my constituents in Wakefield.
Doe Fund Housing Executive Vice President John McDonald said: “New York is at a crossroads. Our city’s recovery is being held back by two things. First, the convergence of eroding public safety and dirty streets, two symptoms of rising homelessness that the The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program is proven and prepared to address. Second, the city’s lack of affordable, supportive housing. I’m proud to have overseen the growth of the transitional, affordable, and supportive housing portfolio. from the Doe Fund to over one million square feet. When complete, the Plains will join this essential continuum of care, providing high-quality housing for 90 of our most needy fellow New Yorkers, and their families. .”
Robert Sanborn, Robert Sanborn Development, said: “Robert Sanborn Development is delighted to be a partner in the development of The Plains, our second collaboration with The Doe Fund. The Plains represents our continued commitment to developing state-of-the-art homes with integrated services; an environment with services available that will improve the lives of all residents.We commend The Doe Fund for this latest supportive housing initiative.
Michael Milazzo, Senior Vice President, Originations at Merchants Capital, said: “The Doe Fund has been a mainstay of supportive housing in New York for over 30 years, and we are honored to have participated in the recent The Plains transaction in the Bronx. As one of the principal financiers of the affordable housing nationwide, we at Merchants are always looking for new ways to meet the housing needs of people across the United States Working with The Doe Fund, we create safe, new, and supportive homes for nearly 100 of New York’s most vulnerable residents hope and needed services for those in need. We are grateful for this partnership and look forward to together strengthening our housing efforts throughout New York.”