Affordable senior housing opens in Riverdale

Local elected officials and community leaders were excited to welcome the new Van Cortlandt Green development to Riverdale.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Bronx senior citizens have a new location where they can age in place thanks to recently constructed senior housing in Riverdale.

Elected officials and residents participated in a ribbon cutting on Friday, February 3, for the new 11-story, 85-unit Van Cortlandt Green at 6469 Broadway.

Each unit in the building – run by Selfhelp Community Services – is a studio apartment which includes an accessible kitchen and bathroom.

Although the units are studio apartments, some are larger to accomodate couples.

Selfhelp officials said all of the apartments are already filled.

As part of Van Cortlandt Green’s amenities, residents are able to use a rooftop community room, adjoining terrace and on-site parking.

The building will be Selfhelp’s tenth building in the city.

Evelyn Wolff, vice president of real estate development for the organization, said the company has been looking for a place to serve senior citizens in the Bronx.

“From every perspective it was a really desirable place to put seniors,” said Wolff.

Wolff added Selfhelp serves Holocaust survivors in the area and wanted to have proper housing for them.

Residents at the Van Cortlandt Green are earning less than 60 percent of the area’s median income.

Due to the affordable housing nature of the residence, Selfhelp was able to help fund the $26.3 million project through various tax credit programs from the city and state.

According to Sandy Myers, director of government and external relations for Selfhelp, prior to the start of the project in 2012, Selfhelp partnered with LiveOnNY to conduct a study on the need for affordable senior housing.

Through the study they found that 100,000 seniors in NYC are waiting for low to moderate income housing, said Myers.

Also, she said, many seniors wait 10 to 11 years to find suitable housing.

“We’re dealing with populations that might not have that much time to wait,” said Myers.

It took six months for Van Cortlandt Green to reach full occupancy.

In addition to the housing and amenities the Van Cortlandt Green provides a Social Adult Day Care on the grounds.

According to Myers and Wolff, most adult day cares cater to senior citizens suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

However, this center, which will open in spring 2017, will cater to a broader scope of seniors who are on Medicaid.

In addition to the service to seniors in the Bronx, officials also praised the building for it’s energy efficiency.

The project recieved $49,000 in incentives from the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority.

“The Van Cortlandt Green Senior Housing Center offers senior citizens energy efficient housing in a healthy, comfortable environment,” said John B. Rhodes, president of NYSERDA. “This project can serve as a model for other developers.”

If senior citizens are interested in getting on the waiting list for the Van Cortlandt Green they can contact BronxPro Group Management at (718) 294-5840.

She said when a space is open Selfhelp will fill it in the order in which the candidate (or candidates) were placed on the waiting list.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at

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