The residence provides 63 units of supportive housing to a mix of low-income and formerly homeless individuals.
On the blustery afternoon of October 29, Services for the Underserved (SUS) welcomed guests to the House Warming of their new supportive housing residence at 3361 Third Avenue in the Morrisania neighborhood of the South Bronx. The residence, which provides 63 units of supportive housing to a mix of low-income and formerly homeless individuals, is a joint venture project between SUS, contractors Strategic Development and Construction Group, and BronxPro Group.
Nicknamed the Lego Building by neighbors – a nod to both its brightly colored window accents, and the fact that it was built with modular units created at Capsys Corp. Designed by James McCullar Architecture, the LEED Gold project features a landscaped rear yard, sunken inner courtyard, and rooftop garden for resident gardeners. Open space and large windows bring bright light into the common areas, with a kitchen, computer room and lounge space for community gatherings. The residence has sparkling new studio apartments, a laundry room, and even a storage room for bicycles.
SUS’s CEO and Chief of Staff -- Donna Colonna and Judith Jackson – welcomed close to one hundred guests to the new building, the second to open using Medicaid Redesign Team Supportive Housing Program capital funding. NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James Rubin and NYC HPD Commissioner Vicki Been both praised the building’s beauty but reminded guests that, as Commissioner Been said, it’s “not just about creating modular buildings, but it’s about creating new lives.” Jane Silverman of JPMorgan Chase, affirmed resounding support for supportive housing as the solution to homelessness. Judi Kende of Enterprise Community Partners noted that the building’s use of NY/NY III funding achieves a triple bottom line, stating with gusto, “Supportive housing saves money, spurs economic development and it ends chronic homelessness.” Kende resolutely called on elected officials to develop 35,000 new units of supportive housing over the next ten years. Third Avenue resident Michael Byrne spoke movingly about his own history of street homelessness and the barriers he faced seeking services and employment, declaring, “I can’t believe I finally have a place to call home.”
Capital for the project was provided by HPD’s Supportive Housing Loan Program, HCR MRT Capital and HFA tax credits. Support services are being funded by NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene under NY/NY III.