Community Housing Innovations Breaks Ground on Mt. Hope Plaza

Categories: New York State, Groundbreakings

Community Housing Innovations Breaks Ground on Mt. Hope Plaza image


On April 12th, Community Housing Innovations and the Mt. Hope Community Development Corporation joined project partners and elected officials to break ground on a new affordable/supportive housing residence, Mt. Hope Plaza in White Plains. When complete, Mt. Hope Plaza will create 56 affordable apartments, including 20 supportive for seniors experiencing homelessness. On-site services are provided by Community Housing Innovations, Inc. and are funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH) administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) for persons who are over the age of 62 with a serious mental illness and homeless or have an unmet housing need. The development is the result of a partnership with the Mt. Hope A.M.E Zion Church to construct affordable housing on an underutilized parcel owned by the church.

Community Housing Innovations’ Chief Executive Officer Ron Abad remarked, “We talk about the mechanics of deals like these, but this is about people. This is about people who’ve served each and every one of you. Shouldn’t they live out their golden years in decent quality, best design, best architecture, best construction, best commitment, best of everything? This is what this project is about.”

Mt. Hope A.M.E Zion Church Senior Pastor Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith expressed pride in the project and said, “Our seniors are the crown jewels of the community with the greatest need for affordable adequate living accommodations. Unfortunately, they are the most forgotten. Our mission is without question to minimize and or eliminate this atrocious situation. Mt Hope Plaza design will provide a comfortable living space during their maturing golden years.”

State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, "I am so pleased to celebrate the groundbreaking of Mt. Hope Plaza, a true victory for this Church and for the seniors of our community in White Plains. The 56 new affordable units that will be built here will be life changing for all who live in them, both seniors and those who will use the supportive services that will be provided.”

Assemblymember Chris Burdick expressed how important the project was and said, "The groundbreaking marks the beginning of a remarkable chapter for the Church and a terrific development for the City of White Plains. The need for affordable housing has never been greater and the need for supportive housing also has never been greater. Congratulations Rev. Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith for his outstanding leadership in making this happen."

White Plains Mayor Tom Roach said, "In White Plains, we demonstrate our commitment to affordable housing through our zoning and land use policies and our affordable housing program. This project is a great example of how that commitment makes a difference. The funds contributed by the City to the all-affordable project came from developers not the taxpayer. It has been a long journey and we were fortunate to have shared the journey with Rev. Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith and Mount Hope A.M.E Zion congregation.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York State is prioritizing investments in projects that ensure a high-quality of life for residents, especially our most vulnerable populations, while moving us closer to meeting our climate goals. When completed, this all-electric and solar-ready building will demonstrate how healthier, affordable living spaces through weatherization and energy efficient features can enhance communities and help reduce harmful emissions for generations of New Yorkers to come.”

Cathleen McCadden, New York State Homes and Community Renewal also spoke.

Mt. Hope Plaza is participating in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's New Construction - Housing Program and is expected to achieve ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction v1.1 Certification as well as meet Enterprise Green Communities 2015 Criteria. The building is also designed to be all-electric and solar-ready.

Residential amenities include a green roof, a community room, central laundry room, and free internet to the residents. 

Funding for the project came from Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), investments from Westchester County, Mt. Hope A.M.E Zion Church, the city of White Plains and financing from Webster Bank.

The general contractor is Touchstone Builders and the architect is WMW Architects.

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