Cardinal Dolan announces huge affordable housing portfolio

St. Augustine’s exterior.
Kasey Rodriguez

Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Catholic Charities announced a massive, affordable housing portfolio that has five out of six sites in the Bronx on Monday, April 8.

Dolan spread the good news during a ceremony held at one of the locations, St. Augustine Terrace on 571 E. 167th Street, where he joined Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray in announcing the 866 affordable units for the borough, 112 of which are at St. Augustine.

The other housing sites will be: St. Vincent de Paul Senior Residence, 89 units at 909 Beck Street, in Longwood; Second Farms, 319 units at 1932 Bryant Avenue in West Farms; St. Philip Neri’s 186 units at 3054 and 3069 Villa Avenue in Bedford Park; and Christopher Court , 160 units at 2830 Park Avenue in Melrose, besides the one Manhattan.

Thirty-five units at St. Augustine will be set-aside for adults with mental illness, according to Catholic Charities.

Beacon of Hope, a division of Catholic Charities Community Services, will provide social services to those tenants with mental illness living at St. Augustine Terrace.

“These individuals have to deal with tremendous challenges, including economic hardship, and providing affordable homes in a supportive and well-maintained environment is critical to their health and the health of the larger community,” McCray said.

The first lady, who leads the city’s Task Force on Mental Illness, commended the Catholic Church for its charitable contribution to the Bronx.

“Today, we applaud the work of the Catholic Church and all New Yorkers who recognize the need to reintegrate people who suffer from mental illness into the larger society,” she continued.

Prior to its conversion into housing, St. Augustine was an Archdiosan church that closed in 2011.

After its closure, St. Augustine Church was demolished in 2013. Its replacement housing project was designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning and constructed by MEGA Contracting Group, achieving LEED Gold environmental certification.

“This land was sacred before and is so once again,” Cardinal Dolan said while presiding over the ceremony. “The church is strongly committed to social justice and ensuring that having a home is a sacred human right. We are delighted that we could transform this church property into homes for New Yorkers with the greatest needs,” the Cardinal continued.

Design and public approvals have already begun on the five new developments in the Bronx, according to Catholic Charities.

Dolan, McCray, and Gibson celebrate the opening of the affordable housing development.
Kasey Rodriguez

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