DOE Fund breaks ground on Bedford Park 10-story building

Doe Fund executives, NYCHA officials and their partners break ground at 3188 Villa Avenue on Friday, December 7.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

A new affordable and supportive housing building sponsored by a major non-profit is coming to the west Bronx

The DOE Fund, a non-profit social services agency that works with the vulnerable populations including the formerly homeless and previously incarcerated, broke ground on a 10-story Bedford Park apartment building.

The DOE Fund, amid the fanfare generated by its new 68-unit residential building at 3188 Villa Avenue, launched the project during a ceremony on Friday, December 7.

The project received a conditional letter of support from Community Board 7, with provisions requiring the apartments be advertised to the local communities in a timely manner and that employment opportunities be offered to local residents, said Jean Hill, CB 7 chairwoman, who was the board’s Housing and Land Use Committee chairperson when The DOE Fund visited in January.

Construction on the ‘as of right’ project is expected to take 21 months, stated a DOE Fund spokeswoman, adding it will receive tax exemptions.

Larry Gordon, The DOE Fund vice-president of housing development, said that the organization has a number of buildings in the Bronx, including 60 units near Crotona Park and 82 on Webster Avenue.

A DOE Fund spokeswoman said that the housing furthers the organization’s mission by removing barriers to economic independence for individuals.

This project fits into the larger structure of the organization’s other programs like its Ready, Willing and Able program which promotes self-sufficiency, said the spokeswoman.

“Developing safe, supportive and affordable housing is sort of the culmination of the programs we run as we get people back on their feet, as we help people with afflictions,” said Gordon.

Gordon added that The DOE Fund has programs that help low-income families, seniors and the disabled.

At Villa Avenue, there will be a long-term social service contract that will help 41 singe adults, said Gordon, who added that DOE is about more than helping people in transition.

The remaining 27 units in the building are set at affordable housing rates. Applicants will be referred to The Doe Fund primarily through the New York City Housing Authority, said Gordon.

At the presentation The DOE Fund told CB 7 members that the building will consist of 60 studios and eight one-bedroom permanent housing units, targeting seniors and people with chronic illness, said Hill.

The project’s affordability level is set at 50% of Area Median Income (AMI), said Perry, and will feature on-site programming and a maintenance staff.

CB 7 was told that the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development provided funding.

Councilman Andrew Cohen, who represents the community, had words of praise for CB 7’s handling of its meeting with The DOE Fund.

“The community board is very thoughtful and responsible,” said Cohen, adding that CB 7 has reasonable goals that allow its service area to receive diverse affordable housing representing a variety of income bands in developments that are the right size for the community.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
The DOE Fund is celebrating the opening of a new 68-unit apartment building at 3188 Villa Avenue that contains both affordable and supportive housing units.
Photo courtsey of The DOE Fund

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