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Beautiful Renaissance Village Opens in Middle Island, NY

10.24.2017


Beautiful Renaissance Village in Middle Island, NY. Photo credit: Kimathi Witt (2017 Tenant of the Year).

On October 16th,  a beautiful, autumn day, Concern for Independent Living celebrated the opening of Renaissance Village, a 123-unit mixed-income supportive housing development in Middle Island, Suffolk County. Renaissance Village provides 50 units for homeless adults with mental health challenges who are high Medicaid users, 72 units for low-income individuals and families, and one superintendent unit.

After a warm welcome from Concern’s Executive Director and Network Board Treasurer Ralph Fasano, Gail Lynch-Bailey, President of the Middle Island Civic Association, spoke movingly about how Renaissance Village is “not only a rebirth for all the people who are starting new lives, but for those of us who have been here a long time, and awaiting a rebirth for our community.”

NYS Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) Assistant Commissioner Sean Fitzgerald was honored by Concern at the opening for the integral part he’s played in making Concern’s many supportive and affordable housing projects a success.

Other dignitaries who spoke at the opening included Commissioner Ann Marie T. Sullivan of NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) who said “what is really successful is when individuals who are living with mental illness have the opportunity to become part of the community that will help them traverse that road of hope and recovery and that’s what you’re doing here;” Commissioner Samuel Roberts of NYS Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance (OTDA); Steven Bellone, Suffolk County Executive; Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, Town of Brookhaven; Sarah Anker, Legislator, Suffolk County; Councilman Michael Loguercio, Town of Brookhaven; Brian Loeb of Federal Home Loan Bank of New York; and Maurice Coleman of Bank of America.

Formerly underutilized land in the heart of Middle Island, Renaissance Village now features nine townhouse-style buildings; a community center with exercise room, a computer room, and ample outdoor space for residents to enjoy.

Funding for Renaissance Village was provided by HCR, OMH, Bank of America, County of Suffolk, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and Astoria Bank.

The development team included the law firms of Russo, Karl, Widmaier & Cordano, and Nixon Peabody, the project’s attorneys; Belfor Long Island, the general contractor; DeLaCour, Ferrara & Church, the project architect; and Betts Housing Consultants. 

| What's New, Member News, Openings


Kenyon Craig, Housing Visions’ CEO, steps down after 27 years

08.02.2017


Kenyon Craig.

In 1994, I returned to my home town of Syracuse to help Central New York Services open the first upstate supportive housing residence. I was fortunate to have Housing Visions (HV) as a next door neighbor.  HV had been buying and rehabbing multiple properties in the area, using the fairly new Low Income Housing Tax Credit to create neighborhood change. That’s how I came to know the brilliant work of Kenyon Craig, HV’s founder.  I was fortunate to see our neighborhood change around us as these investments helped make run-down Greek Revival, Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts homes new again.  Over time, the boarded-up, dilapidated and often vacant homes of East Genesee Street have been replaced by well-maintained homes and rising property values: so much so that HV can no longer afford to develop there (not that they need to)!has been transformed. 

Housing Visions has continued to grow and innovate since those days, creating extraordinary residences like VanKeuren Square for homeless veterans or replacing an old public housing tower with beautiful garden apartments in another supportive housing development, Maple Heights.

After 27 years of success that began in a church basement in that same neighborhood Ken recently announced his retirement.  Over the years, Ken and HV developed about 1,600 units of affordable and supportive housing across New York, from Niagara Falls to Albany, from Oswego to the Pennsylvania border.  He showed me the amazing way affordable housing development can lead to community renewal.

I wish you well in retirement, Ken!

| What's New, New York State, Member News


Stephan Russo Departs Goddard Riverside Community Center

02.24.2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Executive Director Stephan Russo stepped down from his position at Goddard Riverside Community Center (“Goddard”) at the end of the year, succeeded by Dr. Roderick Jones, formerly the President and CEO of Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to his eight years at Grace Hill, Dr. Jones served as President and CEO of the Community Place of Greater Rochester.

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| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News


Tribute to Gina Quattrochi

01.18.2017

Gina Quattrochi, Bailey House CEO and lifelong HIV/AIDS advocate, passed away December 13, 2016 from complications due to cancer. During the 25 years she led Bailey House, Ms. Quattrochi played a key role in transforming the organization into an innovative leader in HIV/AIDS care and supportive housing.

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| What's New, New York City, Member News


Gary Hattem Departs Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation

12.15.2016

Gary Hattem – a leading light in the affordable and supportive housing world for decades -- is retiring as President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation at the end of the year. Mr. Hattem, was responsible for the firm’s corporate social responsibility activities in  the Americas region, Deutsche Bank’s social finance activities globally and established the Community Development Finance Group in 1990. More than $2.5 billion has been deployed through these activities in the U.S., and the international work has led to over $300 million in funds under management.

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| What's New, Member News


StoryCorps and the Network Celebrate the Power of Supportive Housing

09.16.2016

In 2016, we continued our thriving collaboration with StoryCorps, the widely honored nonprofit that describes itself as “America’s oral history project,” and had the opportunity to record, preserve, and share the stories of 30 supportive housing tenants and staff members from Bailey House, Brooklyn Community Housing and Services (BCHS), Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), Community Access, Housing and Services, Inc. (HSI), Housing Plus Solutions, Project Renewal, Services for the UnderServed (SUS), The Door, The Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, St. Francis Friends of the Poor, Urban Pathways, and Volunteers of America – Greater New York.

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| What's New, Member News


Capitol Hall Renovation

08.15.2016


Cutting the ribbon at the renovation ceremony.

On May 24th, Goddard Riverside celebrated the renovation of their Capitol Hall residence. One of the very first supportive housing residences in NYC, Capitol Hall was opened initially in 1983. Back then, plans were afoot to convert the decaying SRO into luxury housing, when a group of neighbors on the Upper West Side got together and took a stand in support of preserving affordable housing for their low-income neighbors. The building now houses 200 people including those who have been homeless and those were at risk of becoming homeless.

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| What's New, New York City, Member News


BHC’s Founder Reflects on the Development of Her Vision for Ending Homelessness

08.02.2016


Tenants gathered in front of the building that would become their new home and BHC's fifth development, The Rio, at 10 Ft. Washington Avenue, during the renovation process that created 75 studios and 7 family apartments, circa 1989. (Ms. Baxter is in the red sweater).

On July 1, 2016 the life and work of Ellen Baxter, Founder and CEO of Broadway Housing Communities, were featured on NPR’s Invisibilia in an episode by reporter Lulu Miller, who introduced the episode by discussing her family’s experience with mental illness.  Just as Miller discussed the challenges in having a mentally-ill older sister, so did Ms. Baxter discuss similar experiences growing up with a mother living with mental illness and addictions.

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| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News


Connie Tempel Retires from CSH

07.22.2016


Sara and Connie -- passing the torch!

Connie Tempel – one of the godmothers of supportive housing and a mainstay of the movement in New York City for the last twenty five years -- is retiring as Chief Operating Officer for CSH today. Ms. Tempel has made an enormous impact on our movement, including what she deems one of her proudest achievements, being present at the first meeting of the SRO Providers Group (the Network’s name for most of its early life) and co-chairing the group early in its existence. Ms. Tempel was a major force behind convincing the New York State Office of Mental Health to embrace supportive housing as an intervention to end chronic homelessness and laid the foundation for what would eventually become known as the NY/NY agreements. Another of Ms. Tempel’s game-changing achievements was shepherding the nine-year process of proving supportive housing’s cost effectiveness in what has become known as the gold standard of cost-benefit analyses, the University of Pennsylvania’s 2001 report known in shorthand as the Culhane Report.

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| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News


Paul Gualano Tribute

07.15.2016


Paul Gualano of CUCS.

The Network joins the Center for Urban Community Services in mourning the loss of CUCS’ long-time Chief Operating Officer, Paul Gualano, who passed away on July 9, 2016. He was a pillar of the supportive housing community who touched the lives of tenants, co-workers, and colleagues from other organizations within our community.

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| What's New, New York City, Member News


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