The building brings 125 new affordable and supportive units to the Bronx’s Mount Eden neighborhood.
On November 12th, Community Access gathered a collaborative of government funders, elected officials, tenants, and building and program staff to celebrate the opening of the East 172nd Street Apartments. The building includes 65 affordable two-bedroom and studio apartments and 60 studio supportive housing units reserved for tenants living with mental health concerns.
Cal Hedigan, CEO of Community Access, kicked off the short speaking program with enthusiasm about the opening. She especially highlighted the building’s staff, emphasizing their important role in supporting the tenants in moving forward with their lives.
Dr. Ann Sullivan, Commissioner of the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) said, “Developments like this one in Mount Eden give vulnerable individuals and families the opportunity to live independently and successfully in their community."
Crystal Gonzalez, a tenant of the building since July, was an honored speaker in the program. She shared some of the challenges she had previously experienced and how Community Access staff had already built a real sense of community in the building – and the first sense of home she had ever felt. One of her goals now is to participate in the Howie the Harp peer advocacy program.
Other speakers at the event included Moshe Mckie-Krisberg, Vice President of Richman Housing Resources; Brian Segel, Senior Vice President at Forsyth Street Advisors; Brendan McBride, Associate Commissioner for New Construction at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD); and Kristin Miller, Director of the NYC Metro Region Office at the CSH.
The building features numerous amenities geared to improve residents’ health: outdoor exercise areas for both children and adults as well as an urban farm with a greenhouse (still to be built), and raised planting beds. It also includes a commercial kitchen for communal cooking, a computer room and library, a laundry room, and 24-hour security. It is LEED-certified and complies with Enterprise Green Communities standards.
With funding from NYS OMH, Community Access is the provider of on-site supportive services, including individual counseling, group activities and workshops, harm reduction services, linkages with community mental health and health care providers, crisis intervention and prevention planning, and assistance with budgeting, as well as educational and employment referrals and support.
Government funding partners included NYS Homes and Community Renewal for permanent tax-exempt bonds and federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, NYS OMH for construction capital, and the NYC HPD’s Supportive Housing Loan Program. Major funding was also provided by a grant from Citi Community Capital, as well as by tax credit financing syndicated by Richman Housing Resources, LLC, with Citi Community Capital as the sole investor, and through grant funding from the NYS Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).
The building was designed by Peter L. Woll Architect, with general contracting services provided by Mega Contracting Group.