On a brisk February 24th, HELP USA joined project partners to break ground on HELP ONE buildings A and B. Once complete, HELP ONE will be a four-building affordable and supportive housing residence with over 500 affordable and supportive apartments. Buildings A and B will create 255 of the units, 154 of which are supportive for youth, individuals and families who have experienced homelessness. Supportive services will be provided by HELP though the NYC 15/15 Program.
Located in East New York and formerly a homeless shelter, HELP ONE will feature energy efficient windows, fixtures, and an integrated solar array and shared service space as well as a courtyard with a playground, a dog-park, picnic and passive use areas with built-in grills. Building A will also host a HELP USA’s non-residential community service program, HELP ROADS, a counseling and support team that serves survivors of domestic violence.
Tom Hameline, President and CEO of HELP USA, opened the program speaking to HELP’s focus on its relationship with the East New York community, “We have 33 years providing services to domestic violence survivors, formerly homeless veterans, families, and adults, supportive housing and after school programs, health and dental clinics, to this community. This project shows we’ll be here in a bigger form for generations to come and is the core of what we do.”
HELP USA’s Chief Housing Officer, David Cleghorn who also emceed the program followed, stating, “Coming out of years of uncertainty and hurt, we need victories to celebrate and what we have here today is a victory that’s been a long-time coming.”
Brendan McBride, Associate Commissioner for New Construction at NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) then spoke to the importance of supportive housing and took a moment to honor the essential workers of the supportive housing community, “We all recognize that supportive housing is one of the most effective and critical tools for addressing homelessness in New York City…Its impact comes about because of the staff on-site and the people who invest so much into this. We want to recognize those who have been essential workers on the ground: social workers, property managers, supers, and all those who have made buildings like this continue to operate and serve tenants during these difficult times.”
Remarks were also given by Dana Greenberg, Vice President NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA); Ruth Moreira, Executive Vice President for Development, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC); Mary O’Connor, Senior Vice President, Regions Affordable Housing; and Winston Von Engel, Director, Brooklyn Office, NYC Department of City Planning.
Financing for the project came from HPD, HDC, OTDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Bank of New York Mellon, and Regions Affordable Housing.
The architects on the project are Curtis and Ginsberg Architects and the general contractor is Monadnock.
Coverage on the groundbreaking here.