A 205-unit senior housing facility headed for Soundview section

A rendering of the 205-unit Casa Celina senior housing complex that will be constructed at the corner of corner of Watson Avenue and Thieriot Avenue on NYCHA’s Sotomayor Houses campus in the Soundview section of the Bronx.
Rendering courtesy NYC Housing Authority

A 205-unit senior housing facility is heading to the Soundview section of the Bronx after a $245 million housing development deal was finalized by three New York City housing organizations on Friday.

The Casa Celina building — a $113 million project — will be constructed on a vacant parking lot site at the corner of Watson and Thieriot avenues at the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Justice Sonia Sotomayor campus.

The development project was agreed upon by the NYCHA; the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD); and the NYC Housing Development Corporation; and also includes a $132 million, 190-unit Atrium at Sumner building on NYCHA’s Sumner Houses campus in Brookyln’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

The financial figures for Casa Celina include $43 million in HDC bonds; $7.7 million in HDC Extremely Low & Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) subsidy; $52.7 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity; and $9.9 million from other funding sources.

The Casa Celina building – named after Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s mother – is expected to have 158 studio apartments and 46 one-bedroom apartments, as well as one two-bedroom superintendent apartment. Sixty-two apartments will be reserved for homeless seniors with the remaining 142 apartments available to households earning at or below 50% of Area Median Income.

Officials hope the two housing projects will address a need for affordable senior housing in New York City.

According to caring.com, a senior living aggregator, the average cost of senior independent living in New York City is $7,540 per month, which is more than triple the national median of $2,500.

There continues to be a pressing need throughout New York City for affordable senior housing that enables residents who have lived and been part of their communities for decades to age in place,” said Johnathan Gouveia, NYCHA executive vice president of Real Estate Development. “NYCHA is committed to increasing that supply while creating meaningful employment and social service opportunities for public housing residents and area seniors in the process.”

According to seniorliving.com, the median household income for New York City seniors is $44,994, which is 19th in the nation. In New York, housing is considered affordable if it costs about one-third or less of household income, which in the Bronx is below $40,088.

According to the press release, NYCHA residents will be given preference for 36 of the apartments in the development. The Casa Celina complex will also include a 1,725-square-foot community facility space operated by Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), to provide on-site building and case management, in-home care and community-wide programming.

Additionally, Casa Celina will include a fitness room, laundry room, landscaped roof terrace and resident lounges on each floor to create social spaces to prevent isolation for its senior residents.

“Seniors are a top priority for this Administration’s ambitious affordable housing plan,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “Casa Celina and Atrium promise to be thriving communities with seniors receiving the support they need to prosper. These nearly 400 new affordable senior homes, to be built across two communities in the Bronx and Brooklyn, are the result of an incredible team effort with the New York City Housing Authority and our development and supportive housing partners.”

Reach Robbie Sequeira at rsequeira@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Facebook @bxtimes

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