Betances Residence will feature 47 supportive housing units for homeless seniors in the Bronx’s Mott Haven neighborhood, with longtime partner CUCS.
On Sept. 10, construction cranes and crew were beginning the transformation of a lot in the Bronx while over 50 people gathered to celebrate what was to come. Breaking Ground gathered local elected officials, city and state representatives, funding partners, peer nonprofits, and other supporters for an official groundbreaking ceremony for Betances Residence, a 152-unit senior residence featuring 47 units for those who have experienced homelessness and 26 units specifically for current residents of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments. Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), another Network member, is providing the onsite social services.
Brenda Rosen, President/CEO of Breaking Ground and Chair of the Network’s Board of Directors, celebrated Betances Residence as an enormous advance in achieving the most sustainable and environmentally friendly levels of energy use.
David Picket, Member of Breaking Ground’s Board of Directors, stepped up to highlight all who had made the project possible: “a skilled development team, thoughtful private partners, and committed elected officials.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said that as an elected official, it was a “moral imperative” to support residences like Betances. He said, “We owe it to our seniors to do it with creativity and love, for the Bronx population to feel dignified and honored.”
Diana Ayala, NYC Council Member for District 8, also expressed deep pride and a big welcome of the new addition to the Mott Haven neighborhood.
Brendan McBride, Associate Commissioner of New Construction at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), specifically highlighted how a unique partnership between NYCHA and HPD had identified the potential of this particular plot of land for much-needed housing. “This is a shining example of that model,” he said, saying that he was “continually impressed by Breaking Ground’s know-how and commitment.”
Other partners who were critical to the Betances Residence project spoke at the ceremony, including Anthony Richardson, Executive Vice President of Development at NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC); Dana Greenberg, Vice President at the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance/Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation (OTDA/HHAC); Jennifer Trepinski, Director of Loan Originations at the Corporation for Supportive Housing; and David Walsh, Senior Vice President for Community Development Banking at JP Morgan Chase & Co.
CUCS, a longstanding Breaking Ground partner for a total of 11 residences, will provide the onsite supportive services, alongside primary care by Janian Medical Care, with funding from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) through the NYC 15/15 Initiative. DreamYard Project, a well-loved, Bronx-based nonprofit focused on arts and education opportunities for youth, will occupy the community facility space.
Betances Residence was designed by COOKFOX Architects, with Passive House consulting provided by Steven Winter Associates, Inc. It will include a multipurpose room, digital library and computer lab, laundry room, and landscaped courtyard and terrace spaces. Monadnock Construction, Inc., is the general contractor.
Capital funding was provided by the New York City Council and Bronx Borough President’s Office, HPD through Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) funds, HDC, and OTDA/HHAC through the Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP). Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. served as the tax credit investor; pre-development funds were provided by the Corporation for Supportive Housing; and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust purchased tax-exempt bonds.
Coverage on the groundbreaking ceremony can be found below: