August 22, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of $34 Million Renovation Project to Preserve Affordable Housing for Seniors in the Bronx

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Project HOPE Supports State's 'Health Across All Policies and Age-Friendly State' Initiatives by Preserving Affordable Homes for Seniors

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of renovations at Project HOPE, a 100-apartment senior housing development in the Bronx. The 25-year-old development underwent a $34 million rehabilitation, preserving the affordability for an additional 40 years. The apartments in the Baychester building are set aside for low-income households with at least one member aged 62 or older.

"All New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to live in good quality housing that they can afford, but it is particularly important for our seniors who are on fixed incomes," Governor Cuomo said. "Here in New York, we look after our seniors who have worked long and hard and deserve to be safe and secure at home in the communities they love."

"This renovation project will preserve affordable, quality housing options for older New Yorkers in the Bronx, ensuring they have the support services they need to lead healthy and secure lives," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This project is part of our ongoing 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 overall quality of life." 

The $34 million investment in Project HOPE is part of the Governor's commitment to provide all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing through his unprecedented $20 billion, five-year housing plan. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multi-family and single-family housing and community development initiatives to make housing accessible and combat homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 homes with supportive services.

Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) has invested more than $10 billion in the New York City region that has created or preserved affordable housing for more than 100,000 residents, including 14,600 apartments for over 37,000 people in the Bronx.

Project HOPE, located at 2050 Bartow Avenue, was originally constructed in 1992 as affordable housing for elderly and disabled households under the federal Section 202 program. The state's investment was used to finance the acquisition and renovation of the seven-story building to keep it affordable and in good condition over the long term.

The apartments will continue to be covered by a project-based Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments contract with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to ensure that the rents remain affordable for current and future tenants. All units are set aside for households with at least one member aged 62 or older or disabled, with incomes at or below 60 percent of the Area Medium Income.

The building has 25 studio and 74 one-bedroom apartments, along with a single two-bedroom unit for the on-site superintendent. All 100 apartments underwent renovation work and now have new bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances with new lighting and painting throughout each unit. Exterior and common area renovations included upgraded security systems, smoke detectors, sprinklers, electrical, new masonry, replacement exterior doors, elevators, safety windows, plumbing infrastructure, boilers and pumps.

Project HOPE is in the northeast Bronx neighborhood of Baychester on the south side of Bartow Avenue and between Alcott Place and Co-op City Boulevard. Shopping is available across the street at the Bartow Mall. Public schools and houses of worship are also within walking distance, and public bus service is available along Bartow Avenue.

The developers are Connolly and Partners, B'nai B'rith Senior Housing and First Hartford Realty Corporation.

Funding provided by HCR to acquire and upgrade Project HOPE included $12 million in tax-exempt bonds, $10.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity and $4.3 million in subsidy and additional resources.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Simply put, this project is an investment in our city's shared future. Preserving New York's existing affordable housing stock is integral to Governor Cuomo's comprehensive housing plan. The renovations to Project HOPE will improve the quality of life for over 100 seniors in the Bronx and allow them to live comfortably in the neighborhood they call home."

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Ensuring our seniors have affordable and comfortable housing builds upon Governor Cuomo's commitment to the Health Across All Policies approach and making New York the most age-friendly state in the nation. Safe and affordable housing for our seniors is essential to improving their overall health, while allowing them to remain active in their community."

Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging Greg Olsen said, "I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership and recognition that access to safe, affordable housing opportunities are paramount to living with autonomy in the community. This latest investment will help older adults remain connected to the vital community resources they need to remain healthy and engaged, and furthers New York's commitment as the first age-friendly state in the nation."

Senator Jamaal Bailey said, "I would like to thank Project HOPE, B'nai B'rith, and the New York State Homes and Community Renewal for their commitment in creating affordable housing units for seniors in the Co-op City neighborhood. Co-op City is the largest NORC in the country and serves its large senior population in various capacities, such as providing senior recreation, senior centers and events."

Assembly Member Michael Benedetto said, "I applaud NYS Homes and Community Renewal for taking the lead in the $34 million total renovation of B'nai B'rith's Project HOPE at 2050 Bartow Avenue, creating sorely needed affordable housing targeted to our low-income seniors. The project's Section 8 status will ensure this housing will remain affordable for many, many years to come."

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., said, "Low-income seniors are among the population most urgently in need of affordable housing. This project is a step in the right direction to fulfill the demand for affordable housing in our growing city, ensuring that our senior population can remain in the communities they call home as they enjoy their golden years. Thank you to New York State Homes & Community Renewal for addressing the needs of our community and for facilitating the sustainable growth of The Bronx."

Managing Partner of Connolly and Partners, LLC William Connolly said, "This is the second time Connolly and Partners, LLC has acquired a senior affordable property with B'nai B'rith Housing. Along with Governor Cuomo and HCR, we all have the same mission: the preservation of senior affordable housing. About 25 years ago, Connolly and Partners started making all of our properties affordable for perpetuity by deed restriction. We also started thinking of our properties as small towns and it is a great feeling to make every home in the town of Project Hope affordable for perpetuity."

President of Richman Capital Kevin Hoffman said, "Richman Housing Resources is honored to partner with First Hartford, Connolly and Partners LLC and B'nai B'rith Senior Citizens Housing on the rehabilitation of Project HOPE Apartments. This project is a prime example of how public-private partnerships, using federal low-income housing tax credit programs, can serve to preserve and maintain affordable senior housing in the Bronx. The project could not have been done without the support and expertise of New York State. We would like to thank our partner in this venture, Signature Bank, for their vision and commitment in investing to keep senior housing affordable."

Director of B'nai B'rith Housing, Inc., Mark Olshan said, "In today's economic climate, the ability to preserve and rehabilitate safe, supportive housing for lower-income seniors is paramount in providing for the next generation. B'nai B'rith is pleased to have been involved in the transformation of the Adelstein Family B'nai B'rith Apartments in keeping with our long-standing tradition of 'honoring thy mother and father.'"

President of Project HOPE Development Corporation Martin Adelstein said, "The Adelstein Family is honored and takes great pride in the redevelopment of the Project HOPE-Adelstein Family Building in the Bronx. Over 40 years ago our father, Bernie Adelstein, the founder and pioneer of Project HOPE, spearheaded this wonderful example of his commitment to establish affordable housing for seniors. On behalf of the Adelstein Family, we are grateful to our partners, B'nai B'rith, Connolly and Partners LLC and New York State for their support and commitment to provide and improve quality affordable housing for the seniors at the Bronx building."

Health Across All Policies and Age-Friendly State Initiative

Health Across All Policies is a collaborative approach that integrates health considerations into policymaking across all sectors to improve community health and wellness, recognizing that a community's greatest health challenges are complex and often linked with other societal issues that extend beyond healthcare and traditional public health activities. To successfully improve the health of all communities, health improvement strategies must target social determinants of health and other complex factors that are often the responsibility of non-health partners such as housing, transportation, education, environment, parks and economic development.

As directed by the Governor, this initiative is initially focusing efforts on creating age-friendly communities and policies. Incorporating policies that promote healthy aging will help State agencies to consider the needs of all populations and environments in which people live as they develop and implement new programs. The long-term goal is to engage all New York State agencies in a collaborative approach to embed health improvement and healthy aging policies as a focus of decision-making within all agencies. Learn more here.

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