On Wednesday, a wealth of local and state officials were on hand for the opening of the Tremont Residences, a $50.6 million affordable housing project with 119 new apartment units — 60% of which are reserved for formerly homeless residents — in West Farms, a Bronx neighborhood with a glaring need for housing.
The 11-story, 98,846-square-foot building includes 95 studio apartments, with 24 one-to-two bedroom units and is affordable to households with incomes between 30 and 60% of the Area Median Income of $35,423. The ground floor also has 6,500 square feet of commercial space that is currently available for rent and is in a transit-heavy district near Crotona Park and Bronx Park, the Botanical Garden and Fordham University.
During construction, which began in January 2021, Tremont Residences developers Slate Property Group, Camber Property Group and partner Westhab vowed that the site would be 100% affordable.
The city is also at a 30-year low in the availability of low-cost rental units — those under $1,500 — with only 1% available, according to the city Housing and Vacancy Survey. Housing analysts and experts believe the city will need to build 560,000 housing units by 2030 to keep up with its expected population and job growth.
Hoping to address that deficit, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s $25 billion affordable housing framework aims to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across the state over the next five years.
“The completion of this 119-unit (West Farms) development means that dozens of Bronx residents and families will have a safe, stable place to call home and the wraparound services they need to thrive,” Hochul said. “This project complements our $25 billion housing plan by not only providing high-quality affordable housing but also creating strong, vibrant, and resilient communities.”
In the last five years, state officials say they have invested more than $1 billion to create or preserve nearly 7,500 affordable apartments in multifamily buildings in the Bronx.
West Farms is a residential community of about 19,000 in need of affordable housing, comprised of roughly 74% Latino and 23% Black, and also well below the borough’s median income of $38,000, and the city’s median income of $61,000, according to census analysis.
There are currently 21,240 housing units in West Farms, but much of the housing stock is around 50 to 60 years old and is still recovering from high rates of evictions in 2019, and a history of disinvestment before and after the pandemic.
“Tremont Residences is a prime example of the type of housing we need more of in this city,” said state Assemblymember Karines Reyes, whose district includes the West Farms neighborhood. “Providing permanent and affordable housing for the formerly homeless is a vital lifeline that not enough people have access to. As an advocate for affordable housing, I strongly believe a home, in our borough and in our city, should be a standard not a privilege.”
State financing for Tremont Residences includes $8.4 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, Federal Low-Income Tax Credits that will generate $17.3 million in equity, and $20.5 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The state’s Office of Mental Health is providing nearly $1.8 million operating funding for the supportive housing and a total of $479,544 in Program Development Grant funding.
Reach Robbie Sequeira at [email protected] or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes