Photo: Homeward Central Harlem Ribbon Cutting
October 24, 2023

Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams Announce Completion of LGBTQIA+ Affirming Housing Development in Central Harlem

Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams Announce Completion of LGBTQIA+ Affirming Housing Development in Central Harlem
Homeward Central Harlem Provides 50 Homes for Young Adults in an LGBTQIA+-Affirming Environment with Supportive Services from Homeward NYC

Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams today announced that construction is now complete on a 50-unit LGBTQIA+-affirming supportive housing development for formerly homeless young adults. Homeward Central Harlem builds upon the Governor's commitment to serve and protect LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers and to invest in their right to fair and quality housing that meets their needs.

“With 50 units of supportive housing and comprehensive counseling, case management, and community resources located right on-site, Homeward Central Harlem is a testament to New York’s ongoing commitment to supporting our LGBTQIA+ community,” Governor Hochul said. “Homelessness, housing insecurity, and discrimination are still a reality for far too many LGBTQIA+ individuals in our state, but through transformative investments in housing and wraparound services and collaboration with partners like Mayor Adams and Homeward NYC, my administration will continue working to uplift this community and ensure that LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers of all ages can access safe, secure housing with the resources they need to thrive.”

In the last five years, Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved 7,500 affordable homes in Manhattan. Homeward Central Harlem builds on this effort and complements Governor Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.

The nine-story building offers 50 fully furnished studio apartments for adults aged 18 to 25 upon entry. Residents are referred by the NYC Department of Homeless Services, the Department of Youth and Community Development's Runaway & Homeless Youth program, and the Administration for Children's Services Foster Care. Housing is non-time limited, meaning residents do not age out on their 26th birthday.    

Homeward NYC will provide on-site supportive services such as counseling, case management for residents to access financial and health care benefits, connections to community resources, group activities, and skills-building programs.

Residents will be provided with low-cost internet service. Located at 15 West 118th Street, the building will include energy efficient features for heating and cooling systems, lighting, and appliances.

Homeward Central Harlem was developed by Type A Projects and Azimuth Development Group.    

State financing for the $22 million development included Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated over $14 million in equity and $2.5 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Enterprise Community Partners provided $1.8 million in subsidy.

All 50 rental units will receive NYC 15/15 rental assistance through HPD. This project initially assumed Supportive Housing Loan Program (SHLP) subsidy. Residents will pay 30 percent of their monthly income as rent, and NYC 15/15 will cover the difference up to the payment standard. 

NYC 15/15 rental assistance is provided through long-term contracts with owners of private apartments, under which HPD issues monthly rental assistance payments for apartments occupied by eligible households. Assisted households are responsible for paying approximately 30 percent of their adjusted incomes towards the rent. HRA and DOHMH provide the social service provider a contract to offer onsite social services to NYC 15/15 participant households.

HPD has provided a full 420-c tax exemption for the building. 

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “We are proud to be a part of this LGBTQIA+ affirming development that will truly be life-changing for 50 young adults. In addition to affordable homes, Homeward Central Harlem will ensure that current and future residents have access to compassionate support and the resources they need to achieve stability and independence. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, we are working to ensure that every New Yorker can know the safety and dignity that only a home to call your own can provide. Congratulations to our development team and our city and private partners for the successful completion of this project that will benefit LGBTQIA+ young people for decades to come.”

New York City Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. said, “It's heart breaking that so many young LGBTQIA New Yorkers face the challenge of finding a safe and affordable place to live. At this site, HPD and Homeward are working together to provide a warm and welcoming home for LGBTQIA residents, who are so often affected by housing insecurity. We are incredibly proud to support this project, which will provide essential facilities and services, and serve as a beacon of courage and acceptance for LGBTQIA New Yorkers across the city." 

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, “Homeward Central Harlem will be lifesaving and life changing for its residents. The combination of stable housing with wraparound services will be invaluable to laying a secure foundation for residents’ young adulthood. Projects like Homeward are an outstanding model of community-oriented supportive housing.”

Homeward NYC Chief Executive Officer Jeannette K. Ruffins said, “Homeward NYC is proud to open our third supportive housing residence designed to meet the needs of LGBTQIA young adults. LGBTQIA youth are often pushed into homelessness by their family of origin due to sexual orientation or gender identity. When your family tells you that who you are is fundamentally wrong, it fractures your sense of self and safety. LGBTQIA youth become homeless younger and are often homeless longer. With supportive housing (that’s affordable housing with built-in support services), these young adults are in a safe and affirming space where they can start to explore what they want for the future. This project would not have moved from brainstorm to bricks and mortar without our financing partners New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the City Department of Social Services, KeyBank, Hudson Housing, Enterprise Community Partners, and Freddie Mac Multifamily; and our development partners Type A Projects and Azimuth Development Group. This partnership came together with the support of City and State initiatives to increase affordable housing and decrease chronic homelessness.”

Enterprise Community Partners Vice President and New York Market Leader Baaba Halm said, “Enterprise is thrilled to celebrate the opening of Homeward Central Harlem and was proud to play a part in its development with a $1.8 million grant. Around 40 percent of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQIA+. In creating 50 units of permanent supportive housing and offering comprehensive on-site services, this site will not only be meeting a housing need but will provide LGBTQIA+-affirming care for all those who pass through its doors. Congratulations to Homeward, Type A Projects, Azimuth Development Group, HCR, HPD, and all other partners involved in this joyful milestone.”

Type A Projects Principal and Co-Developer of the Project Annie Tirschwell said, “I am truly humbled as we welcome our young adult residents to Homeward Central Harlem. After years of moving the mountain of details that housing development in New York City requires, the clarity of why we do this work crystalizes on move-in day, as some of our most vulnerable fellow New Yorkers get keys to a fresh start.  We are incredibly grateful to our hard-working and inspiring State and City agency partners, lenders, consultants and development partners who have made this all possible.  This collaboration, under the steady and compassionate hand of Homeward NYC, will change the lives of all who come through their welcoming doors.”

Azimuth Development Group Founder and President Guido Subotovsky said, “Azimuth Development is thrilled to have been a part of this transformative development, along with Homeward and Type A Projects.  New York faces a housing crisis like we have never seen, and this project provides housing and supportive services to many of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.  We would like to extend our gratitude to our partners at HCR, HPD, Key Bank, Hudson Housing Capital and the rest of the development team for bringing this project to fruition.”