Amid fanfare and speeches by elected officials, a new apartment building that will provide housing for 47 disabled individuals opened in Fordham on Friday, November 5.
Housing Options & Geriatric Association Resources, H.O.G.A.R., opened the building at 2191 Washington Avenue after about eight years of planning. It will provide studio apartments to permanently homeless single adults who are medically challenged.
A ribbon cutting and dedication was held in front of the building, with Congressman Jose Serrano, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Community Board 6 district manager Ivine Galarza, Lydia Tom of the Enterprise Foundation, and Timothy Hanlon from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Noris Colon, H.O.G.A.R. founder, CEO, and president said that the $10 million project was the result of the H.O.G.A.R.’s work with the community and its growth since being founded in 1996.
“As a founder of H.O.G.A.R., to see the agency grow and to have the support of the community is something I am proud of,” Colon said.
The building’s apartments are fully furnished. It offers lounge areas for residents, laundry on site, a community room, a garden and recreational facilities. Vocational counseling and on-site case management will be part of life for the residents of the building, who are set to move in shortly.
Colon said that the building project would not have been possible without federal funds, funding from the New York City Human Resources Administration, grant money from Enterprise Community Partners, and a $500,000 member item from former Borough President Adolfo Carrion’s office. Congressman Serrano remarked that the building will service a worthy population, and that Norris was one of the first people to recognize the need to build housing for people with serious medical challenges, which can sometimes even include mental illness and physical disabilities.
Serrano said that the most remarkable aspect of the day was the joy that the building will bring to the people who will call it home.He held up its completion as an example what can be accomplished when people work together to overcome obstacles.
“Every ribbon cutting that I go to I want to take the scissors and put them up in my office as an example of what you can cut through,” Serrano said at the building’s ribbon cutting.
Diaz said that the opening of the building symbolized that the community was ready to celebrate life with medically challenged adults. One of the future tenants of the building, Nanette Nasone, said that she was pleased to be moving to a brand new building.
“They took me on a tour of the building and the apartments,” Nasone said. “Everything is beautiful and well made. I was delighted to be here today for the ribbon cutting and to share in the happy emotions. I feel like this building will be put to good use.”