Affordable housing complex completed in Tremont

Affordable housing complex completed in Tremont
At the ribbon cutting were (l-r) Rick Cook, COOKFOX Architects founding partner; Fabian Ramirez, Capital One vice-president, community development banking; Sam Ganeshan, Hudson Housing Capital managing director; Tony Hannigan, Center for Urban Community Services executive director and Breaking Ground board member; Samuel Roberts, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance commissioner; RuthAnne Visnauskas NYS Homes and Community Renewal commissioner; Emily Lehman, Housing Preservation and Development assistant commissioner and Ian Shrank, Breaking Ground board member and general counsel.
Photo courtesy of Breaking Ground

The completion of a new affordable housing complex is another sign that the borough is meeting the needs of its residents.

Non-profit organization Breaking Ground held a ribbon cutting with its public and private sector partners on Tuesday, May 15 in Tremont for 170 units of new affordable and supportive housing at 411 E. 178th Street.

The building’s ribbon cutting capped off a larger project, known as Park House and Webster Avenue residences in the parlance of the developer, that features two buildings offering affordable housing.

The apartments dedicated on the 15th include 90 units set aside for people who were formerly homeless, including those living with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis, and 80-units for low income, working people, stated Brenda Rosen, president and CEO of Breaking Ground.

At least half of all the new residents will have already resided in Community Board 6, she stated.

All of the Webster Avenue building’s units are studios that are approximately 310 square feet each.

“We opened our Park House development last year, and are now thrilled to open Webster, completing the full 418-unit complex of supportive and affordable housing, joined by a beautiful shared courtyard,” stated Rosen.

Park House includes a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with a majority of units in the two- and three-bedroom categories.

Rosen stated that taken together Webster Avenue and Park House are indicative of the mixed-use projects providing homes for people from different walks of life that the organization develops.

Councilman Ritchie Torres said that the two buildings are world-class housing developments that replaced what had previously been a vacant eyesore.

“I think there’s real value in mixed income housing,” said Torres of the buildings. “You have units for both the formerly homeless and working families, and I have a preference for integrated housing settings.”

Among the organizations and agencies that helped provide financing for the newest building were NYS Homes and Community Renewal, the NYS Office of Mental Health, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance/Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Hudson Housing Capital and Capital One Bank, stated Rosen.

Maria Torres-Springer, HPD commissioner, thanked Breaking Ground and their partners for their commitment to seeing that the city remains a place of opportunity for all of its residents.

“Webster Residences provides 170 homes and individualized, on-site social services so that low-income residents with special needs have the support they need to build a stronger future,” said Torres-Springer.

Social services at the Webster Avenue building will be provided by the Center for Urban Community Services.

These services at the newly dedicated Webster Avenue building, a $64 million building, will include on-site case workers, social workers, primary medical care and employment assistance.

The Webster Avenue building also features a computer lab, community space and a gym, stated Rosen.

Both buildings took about two years to complete, and were designed by architect COOKFOX.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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