On a rainy October 29th, elected officials and funding and development partners joined Community Access for the groundbreaking of 1159 River Avenue. The residence will have 245 affordable and supportive units - 148 supportive - for individuals living with mental health concerns, individuals and families with histories of homelessness, and low income families.
Located in Concourse in the Bronx, this building will feature community rooms, a commercial kitchen, a gym, laundry rooms, tenant lounges, a bike room, a library/computer room, and 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.
Community Access Executive Director Cal Hedigan, launched the program “We are gratified that the development of affordable housing has been able to continue through the many stages of NYC grappling with this public health crisis. In the supportive housing community, we’ve always known that housing saves lives, but these last few months have been a stark and painful reminder of that fact.”
Hedigan also noted the critical need for a second tranche of funding for the Governor’s signature 20,000 unit/15 year Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative commitment. ”This project is funded in part with ESSHI and we are now in the last year of the state's commitment to fund 6,000 units of supportive housing. There is a dire need to renew funding of this initiative so we can reach its goal of 20,000 units."
NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner and CEO RuthAnne Visnauska followed and spoke to the location of the residence, “This project is near schools, houses of worship, supermarkets, It’s important that we’re not just building housing, but quality housing that gives people opportunities.”
Council Member Vanessa Gibson spoke next, "Many of our residents who died to COVID-19 had underlying health conditions and lived in unstable housing. This groundbreaking is another urgent reminder of the need to stabilize our families."
Deputy Commissioner for Development at NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Liz Oakley also spoke “Affordable housing provides stability. Affordable housing is healthcare. Affordable housing is economic development. Affordable housing gives hope. Together we can make our city a more affordable and equitable place to live.”
Remarks were also given by: Bud Isaacson, NYS Office of Mental Health; Jorge Madruga, Maddd Equities; Eli Weiss, Joy Construction; and Gary Vizioli, Wells Fargo.
This project was financed by New York State Housing Finance Agency, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development with operating/services financing from New York State Office of Mental Health (Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.
The architects on the project are Aufang Architects and Urban Quotient. The general contractor is Joy Construction, the co-developers are Madd Equities LLC/ J Equities II LLC, and Alembic Community Development is the financing consultant.