19-story affordable housing project leads the way at 1159 River Avenue in the South Bronx
Construction has officially started at 1159 River Avenue, a new 245-unit affordable housing project in the Concourse section of the South Bronx. Designed by Urban Quotient, the 19-story building will cover 240,000 square feet. In addition to low-income and supportive housing, the structure will contain residential amenity spaces and a new supermarket on the ground floor.
The development comes on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $ 20 billion five-year housing plan, which aims to build or preserve more than 100,000 affordable homes, including 6,000 with on-site support services for New Yorkers the most vulnerable. In the Bronx, the initiative has created or preserved more than 15,000 affordable housing units, equivalent to more than $ 1.3 billion in investment.
“We continue to make unprecedented investments in affordable housing that will help tackle the twin crisis of inequality and homelessness,” Governor Cuomo said. “New developments like this project demonstrate our continued efforts to provide Bronx residents with high quality, energy efficient homes with support services for the most vulnerable among us. “
The new building will include 148 units reserved for individuals and families who have experienced homelessness and people with mental illness. Of those units, 128 households will have access to on-site support services and rent assistance funded by the Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. Support services will be administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health in conjunction with Community Access and will include primary care, mental health services, job training, nutrition, harm reduction strategies, social support, etc.
The remaining rental units will be reserved for low-income individuals and families, plus an additional apartment for the resident superintendent.
The leisure spaces will include an art gallery, an exercise room, a laundry room, outdoor terraces and computer rooms. The property is located less than ten minutes walk from Yankee Stadium.
“Projects like 1159 River Avenue are helping Bronx residents live safely in affordable, high-quality housing and become independent,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “Building more housing with supportive services is essential as we continue our fight against homelessness.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (UNHCR) is the government agency responsible for development. Other members of the development team include J. Equities II, an affiliate of affordable housing developer Maddd Equities, as well as Community Access.
UNHCR’s funding for 1159 River Avenue includes $ 25 million in ongoing tax-exempt bonds, low-income housing tax credits that will generate $ 43 million in equity and $ 16 million in grants. An award from the New York State Empire Supportive Housing Initiative will provide $ 3 million per year for services and operations. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development is providing an additional $ 26 million grant through its Supportive Home Loan program.
“The 245 households that will live here will benefit from excellent amenities, excellent access to public transport, conveniently located shops and schools, and nearby recreational spaces,” said UNHCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “We are proud to partner with Community Access on this development to provide modern apartments and life-saving mental health services to New Yorkers in need.”
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