Showing Posts by Category: Member News
Friends, champions and elected officials gathered on Friday May 11 to celebrate the opening of Lynn’s Place, the first supportive and affordable housing building developed by Unique People Services (UPS) in the south Bronx. Named after UPS’ founder Lynn Wonsang, the six-story complex consists of 69 units, 42 of which are supportive housing.
"Looking in front of me, I see the fruit of nearly three decades of dreaming. Dreaming that grew into a clear vision with amazing champions---- and we’d like to say thank you for your passion for our vision in making Lynn’s Place a reality," remarked Yvette B. Andre, the Executive Director of UPS at the opening ceremony.
Yvette B. Andre was joined by Ann Sullivan, Commissioner of NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH); Melissa Mark-Viverito, former NYC City Council Speaker; Assembly Member Michael Blake, NYC HPD Assistant Commissioner Emily Lehman, Hudson Housing Capital’s Sam Ganeshan; Corporation for Supportive Housing’s Kristin Miller, as well as representatives from State Senator Gustavo Rivera and City Council Members Diana Ayala and Rafael Salamanca Jr.
“Over 50% of units are dedicated to people with serious mental illnesses. This opens up their dreams,” said Commissioner Sullivan.
Melissa Mark-Viverto, who represented the neighborhood when the project broke ground, congratulated all the partners and spoke about the importance of investing tax dollars in housing for those in need.
“It is projects like this that give you faith that government is here to serve the most vulnerable. Proud that as speaker of the City Council we invested in such a worthy project,” she said.
Two of Lynn’s Place residents, Ms. Ivory and Mr. Digilio also spoke at the ceremony, expressing their gratitude for having Lynn’s Place as their new home.
“It is really hard to be homeless, especially when you’re older. I’m just really grateful to be in a place where people can see me as a person - not as someone with an illness, but just as me,” shared Ms. Ivory.
The building features a community room, a large sunken courtyard for recreational use, and a beautifully landscaped rooftop. Comprehensive on-site social services are funded by NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH).
This project was funded through the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), CSH, Hudson Housing Capital, Capital One Bank, Deutsche Bank, New York City Council and NYSERDA.
The building is designed by Urban Architectural Initiatives and Procida Construction Corporation was the contractor for the project. Robert Sanborn Development was the developer.| What's New, Member News, Openings
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
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
| In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News
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.
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.Continue Reading | What's New, New York City, Member News
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.Continue Reading | What's New, Member News
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.Continue Reading | What's New, Member News
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.Continue Reading | What's New, New York City, Member News
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.Continue Reading | In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News
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.Continue Reading | In the Media, What's New, New York City, Member News