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Affordable housing development recieves support from CB7

Villa Ave. affordable housing project receives CB7’s support

Bronx Times
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An affordable housing development is expected to be approved for a Villa Avenue site after some additional terms are accepted.

On Tuesday, January 23 Community Board 7 voted unanimously on the approval of the Doe Fund’s supportive housing development at 3188 Villa Avenue, pending that the board’s conditions are met.

Dubbed the ‘Villa House,’ the project will be ten stories high and include 60 studio apartments, as well as, eight one-bedroom apartments.

Forty-one of the units are expected to be reserved for formerly homeless people with chronic medical conditions and 27 units reserved for seniors currently on the NYCHA wait list, according to a statement released by the Doe Fund.

While the project received tremendous support through all stages of the CB 7’s committee and general board meetings, the board wanted to make sure its residents would have priority.

“We are an underserved community,” said Adaline Walker-Santiago, chair of Community Board 7. “We’re learning that a lot of developments are coming to this community and we’re going to make sure they have community space.”

The community board listed three conditions in its letter to the Doe Fund.

First, the Doe Fund must work with the proper agencies to ensure a certain number of the units are reserved for seniors living within the board’s communities: Kingsbridge, University and Fordham Heights, Mosholu Parkway, Jerome and Bedford Park and Norwood.

Second, the application process needs to be advertised in a timely manner.

“A lot of times people don’t find out about [new listings] until the [paper] comes out and that’s usually too late,” continued Walker-Santiago.

The last condition is that all employment opportunities created as a result of the project should be offered first to residents of the community.

Though the letter detailing these conditions was only sent out on January 24, the community board notified the Doe Fund of these conditions during the initial Housing Committee meeting earlier in the month.

The community board has not received a response from the Doe Fund about these conditions yet.

“Right now I’m trying to advocate for construction of more schools and community space,” said Walker-Santiago. “Not for this building, but for other larger developments [in the works].”

The Villa House is also expected to include a community room, garden, an on-site laundry facility, a bike room, and 24-hour professionally staffed security.

“When our citizens flourish, our communities thrive,” said George McDonald, Doe Fund’s founder and president, in a statement from the organization.

“Thanks to the tremendous support from Bronx Community Board 7, we are moving quickly to provide more affordable housing in the Bronx,” it said.

While the Villa House is not expected to be completed until spring 2020, the architects, Delacour, Ferrara & Church Architects firm, may have floor plans available in a matter of weeks, though that is not confirmed, according to a Doe Fund representative.

The Doe Fund was founded in 1985 as an organization that provides life-transforming social services to help individuals with histories of homelessness, incarceration, poverty, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS.

Reach Reporter Sarah Valenzuela at (718) 260-4584. E-mail her at svalenzuela@cnglocal.com.
Posted 12:00 am, February 5, 2018
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