State Funding to Finance 13-story, Energy-Efficient Mixed-Use Building with 96 Apartments Near Fordham Heights; Will Provide Supportive and Affordable Housing for Families and Formerly Homeless Individuals
Low Carbon Design Building Supports Governor Cuomo’s Goal to Reduce Greenhouse Gases 85 Percent by 2050
January 16, 2020 - Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined representatives from New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the groundbreaking for 2050 Grand Concourse, a $61 million mixed-use development, which will include 96 affordable apartments with supportive services for formerly homeless individuals. Located at the gateway to the Fordham Heights neighborhood, the 13-story building will also house the new headquarters for Bronx-based nonprofit, Unique People Services, Inc.
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Since 2011, HCR has invested more than $1.2 billion to create or preserve over 16,000 affordable homes in the Bronx. Developments like this one provide a supportive environment for residents and critical community services so that the entire Fordham Heights neighborhood can grow and thrive. When complete, 2050 Grand Concourse will offer a fresh start to 96 households and a new headquarters for Unique People Services to carry out their important work for New Yorkers in need.”
“This significant investment builds on our affordable housing and economic development projects in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “As part of our overall efforts to build and preserve affordable housing and combat homelessness, the 2050 Grand Concourse project will provide 96 affordable apartment units for individuals with mental illness and HIV/AIDS who formerly experienced homelessness, along with low- and moderate-income families in the area. The project also builds on our initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change, receiving funding as part of NYSERDA’s Buildings of Excellence Competition. We are seeing real renewal and progress in the Bronx, and we are continuing to strengthen the local economy and enhance quality of life for all residents.”
The project is part of Governor Cuomo's commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing thanks to the State's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing.
Since 2011, HCR has invested more than $1.2 billion in the Bronx that has created or preserved affordable housing for more than 45,000 people.
Unique People Services, Inc. is developing the project and will provide on-site supportive services to residents. These services will include advocacy, benefit and medical services support, care coordination, employment plan development, vocational training, transportation, food and nutrition education, health promotion and education, home-making assistance, mental health and supportive counseling. UPS will locate both its headquarters and programing in the building’s 10,600-square-foot community facility space.
The project is a winner in New York State’s inaugural Buildings of Excellence competition for the design, construction and operation of a low carbon emitting multifamily building. Administered by NYSERDA, the competition supports New York State’s climate and energy goals under Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal, which puts the state on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality and mandates an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The building is also expected to meet the standards of the NYSERDA’s Multifamily New Construction Program.
Energy efficiency measures will include high-performance exterior insulation; solar panels; Energy Star windows, lighting and appliances; high-efficiency HVAC systems; low-flow plumbing fixtures; sustainable building products; construction waste management systems; low-VOC paints, solvents and adhesives; and recycled building materials.
The development will also feature a large community room with kitchen, a laundry facility, storage rooms, and two landscaped rooftop terraces.
HCR’s financing for 2050 Grand Concourse includes $7.4 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $21.3 million in equity, $17.7 million from the Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP) and $3.5 million from the federal Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The development also received $5.5 million from the state’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP), which is administered by OTDA. NYSERDA will provide $77,600 through the Multifamily New Construction Program and awarded $750,000 from the Buildings of Excellence competition.
Rental subsidies and funding for supportive services will be provided by OMH through Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) and the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) administered by the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA). The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) provided an additional $1.9 million.
OTDA Commissioner Mike Hein said, “In our ongoing efforts to end homelessness, we cannot overlook the inextricable connection between chronic health conditions and housing insecurity. Moreover, those experiencing homelessness are far less likely to have resources to adequately manage serious conditions and can then face dire health consequences. The project at 2050 Grand Concourse will bring new hope to these individuals by providing the stable setting and supportive services they can utilize to address healthcare needs and avoid patterns that lead to homelessness.”
OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Supportive housing provides people living with mental illness the opportunity to be independent and live successfully in their own communities. Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative has given thousands of vulnerable individuals and families a stable, safe home with the services they need. The apartments at 2050 Grand Concourse will be a beautiful addition to the neighborhood and will provide residents with a welcoming home in the Bronx.”
NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said, “Congratulations to Unique People Services for breaking ground on 2050 Grand Concourse which will provide some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers with clean, comfortable, and energy efficient housing. This project serves as a model that can be replicated across the state in helping developers and architects bring low carbon buildings to scale, and clearly highlights Governor Cuomo’s vision of ensuring all New Yorkers benefit from a greener economy."
Assembly Member Victor M. Pichardo said, “I want to thank Executive Director Yvette B. Andre and the members of the Board of Unique People Services (UPS) for their commitment to improving the lives of ALL New Yorkers. Thanks to the help and support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, I am hopeful that my neighbors in the West Bronx will not only benefit from the services offered by UPS, but the entire community will see a positive effect for the neighborhood's quality of life."
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “This project is a great example of how innovative and thoughtful development can improve the lives of the most vulnerable Bronxites even as our borough undergoes rapid change. The specialized services which will be available at this site are going to be a real asset to residents and we need to build more housing like this to support our formerly homeless population and ensure they have the resources they need to succeed. Thank you to New York State for your commitment to this incredible project.”
City Council Member Ritchie Torres said, “The groundbreaking for 2050 Grand Concourse will bring much needed housing and support services to a community that for too long has been yearning for it. This development will not only bring new apartments, it will bring necessary medical services and workforce development to Fordham Heights and benefit the entire neighborhood. I’m proud to partner with Unique People Services to make this a reality and look forward to its opening day for residents.”
Unique People Services, Executive Director, Yvette Brissett-Andre said, "Unique People Services is proud of our 2050 Grand Concourse project. The development is an important one, not just for the organization, but for some of New York’s most vulnerable populations — and one that will make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve for the purposes of both prosperity and security. All of our development projects aim to enhance, uplift, and renew the Bronx and all those that call this great borough home.”