The revitalization of New York City’s South Bronx advances as $126 million project to create 245 affordable homes gets underway

On October 30, 2020, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the start of construction on 1159 River Avenue, a $126 million development that will bring 245 homes to the South Bronx. The 19-story building will offer 148 apartments specifically for individuals and families who have previously been homeless, including those in need of supportive services.

1159 River Avenue is four blocks from Yankee Stadium in a neighborhood that is near the 6, D and B subway lines; schools; houses of worship; supermarkets; convenience stores; and Mullaly Park which has ballfields, a playground, walking and bicycle paths and sitting areas.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “1159 River Avenue furthers Governor Cuomo’s ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness and enhance quality of life in the Bronx by building new affordable housing with on-site supportive services. The 245 households that will live here will benefit from great amenities, excellent transit access, conveniently located stores and schools, and nearby recreational space. We are proud to partner with Community Access on this development to provide modern apartments and vital mental health care services to New Yorkers in need.

The Governor’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the state’s $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services.

Designed to provide good quality, affordable homes, 1159 River Avenue is part of the Governor’s overall strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested over $1.3 billion that has created or preserved more than 15,000 affordable homes in the Bronx.

Assembly Member Carmen Arroyo said, “I applaud the Governor for his continued championing of affordable housing development here in the Bronx and across our state. Our borough is coming back united and stronger, and we must stand together and do all that we can to give struggling residents access to housing. This project is a major boost for our community.”

1159 River Avenue will include 245 apartments with 148 set aside for individuals and families who have experienced homelessness and those recovering from mental illness. Of these units set aside, 128 households will have access to on-site services and rental assistance funded through the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health. The remaining rental units are reserved for low-income individuals and families. There is one apartment for a superintendent.

Supportive services will include linkage to and coordination of services with other community resources, including primary care and mental health services, and direct support in a variety of areas including: goal setting, systems navigation, self-advocacy, educational / vocational / employment information and referrals, nutrition, harm reduction strategies, and social supports. The supportive service provider is Community Access, Inc.

The development will meet Enterprise Green Communities Standards and Energy Star‘s Multi-Family High Rise standards and will include such energy-efficient features as Energy Star appliances and water conserving low-flow fixtures.

The 19-story building will have art, exercise, laundry and computer rooms. The ground floor will have 20,500 square feet of commercial space.

We continue to make unprecedented investments in affordable housing that will help tackle the dual inequality and homelessness crises,” Governor Cuomo said. “New developments like this project demonstrate our ongoing efforts to provide Bronx residents with high-quality, energy-efficient homes with supportive services for the most vulnerable among us.

HCR’s financing for 1159 River Avenue includes $25 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $43 million in equity and $16 million in subsidy. The ESSHI award administered by OMH will provide $3 million annually for services and operations. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development is providing an additional $26 million of subsidy through its Supportive Housing Loan Program. The development team consists of Community Access, Inc. and J. Equities II, LLC, an affiliate of affordable housing developer Maddd Equities.

Image courtesy of Office of Governor Cuomo.

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