Jerome Court has seen a slew of changes at its 1796 Jerome Ave. location in Morris Heights.
Once a motel — and then housing for tenants living with HIV/AIDS up until 2016 — Jerome Court’s latest chapter is a 16-story affordable housing complex with housing reserved for formerly homeless individuals and families experiencing behavioral health challenges who have since left the city’s shelter system.
The redevelopment of 1796 Jerome Ave. turns what was once a two-story single-room occupancy building into a mixed-use complex that is now providing 175 total units, with 69 of those considered affordable housing. The mixed-use building has 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, which has been leased to several convenience and food operators.
The project is a collaboration between two Bronx organizations, Services for the UnderServed (S:US) and Bronx Pro Group LLC, when the former acquired the property in 2016. Both groups assert that the prior building was “underbuilt and unsuitable” for permanent housing prior to re-development starting in 2019.
“S:US’ core mission is to continuously advance measures for social justice. Our model is rooted in creating opportunities for all and investing in the communities we live and work in. It is the foundation of everything we do,” said Perry Perlmutter, interim president and CEO of Services for the UnderServed.
The $91.6 million project was funded by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Supportive Housing Loan Program and additional funding streams from the city’s Housing Development Corporation’s Extremely Low and Low-Income Affordability program, 4% tax-exempt bonds as well as banks like TD Bank and Enterprise.
At 60% of the area median income, there are 16 studios with a monthly rent of $947 for incomes ranging from $34,972-$57,300.
The property’s new R8-A rezoning was a part of the Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Plan, a long-range plan to address land use needs of the two-mile stretch of Jerome Avenue, as well as the neighborhoods in community districts 4, 5 and 7.
According to the city’s department of planning, more than 1,000 affordable homes have been created in the area since rezoning was approved in March 2018. Much of the residential land use plans, according to city planners, are to meet housing needs of the area’s senior and low-income households as well as those formerly homeless families and individuals.
“The Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Plan continues to pay dividends for the Bronx. With income-restricted, transit-oriented projects like this welcoming new tenants, we’re seeing in real-time how long-term planning with the community directly leads to positive results for New Yorkers,” said city Planning Director Dan Garodnick.
The building is equipped with 24-hour security, social services and housing support for residents and major environmental upgrades that tout reduced use of fossil fuels and superior indoor air quality for the residents.