Ground breaks on Morris Heights affordable housing project, with units reserved for homeless adults

Starhill Phase I is part of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new $25 billion five-year housing plan that is expected to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across the state.
Rendering courtesy Marvel Architects

On Wednesday, New York officials broke ground on the first phase of an affordable housing project that aims to bring 325 new homes to the Morris Heights section, with 200 reserved for individuals experiencing homelessness with substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders.

Starhill Phase I, a soon-to-be 14-story multifamily building on a two-acre site located at 1600 Grand Ave., will include a second phase of development on 1600 Macombs Road which is expected to include approximately 244 more additional affordable and supportive apartments.

No construction timeline has been given for Phase I completion or Phase II’s groundbreaking as of Thursday. Phase I carries a total cost of $190 million and is being financed through tax-exempt bonds, low-income housing tax credits and subsidy loans provided by the New York State Housing Finance Agency, and subsidy loans provided by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The remaining apartments for Phase I will be reserved for households earning between 30-80% of the area median income or less, which is roughly $24,850 annually. Starhill residents will have access to on-site supportive services and rental subsidies funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and administered by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports.

New York’s leading politicos, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams were on hand for Wednesday’s groundbreaking. The Starhill Phase I project is a part of the governor’s new $25 billion five-year housing plan that is expected to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across the state.

The 1600 Grand Ave. site was once home to a former hospital which had been used as a residential treatment center. The Starhill development is possible through the 2018 Jerome Avenue rezoning deal, which prompts the construction of mixed-use and mixed-income housing along 73 blocks of Jerome Avenue.

“This development will provide safe, stable homes for more than 300 residents of the Bronx and offer critical resources and amenities to support the Morris Heights neighborhood in the long term,” said Hochul. “As the national affordability crisis drives rent and other costs to new highs, my administration is tackling the crisis head-on with a $25 billion plan to deliver high-quality affordable and supportive housing that will help to stabilize and improve New Yorkers’ lives.”

On-site services by provider Services for the Underserved are voluntary and individualized, and slated to include case management, family counseling, job readiness training and financial literacy workshops.

“Home is more than a roof. Home is stability, safety, community, and a sense of belonging,” said Jorge R. Petit, president and CEO of Services for the Underserved. “Starhill will bring hope, possibility, and opportunity to New Yorkers who have experienced homelessness, poverty, addiction, and mental health challenges.”

Reach Robbie Sequeira at [email protected] or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes