Community partners broke ground on the first LGBT-friendly affordable housing development for seniors in the Bronx in mid-May.
Developed by SAGE, the country’s largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT seniors, and HELP USA, which is dedicated to serving special-needs populations, Crotona Senior Residences will serve very-low income residents 62 and older. Any individual who is age- or income-qualified can apply to live in the development, which is slated to open in fall 2019.
The development, along with the Ingersoll Senior Residences in Brooklyn, is part of SAGE’s national LGBT Elder Housing Initiative, which was launched in 2015 to address the housing crisis faced by LBGT seniors. The multi-year initiative encourages inclusive housing, policy advocacy, consumer education, cultural competence training for providers, and technical assistance for communities seeing to address LGBT housing issues for seniors.
“Crotona Senior Residences will provide crucial housing and supportive services to the many older LGBT New Yorkers who are in desperate need of an affordable place to live,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “Finding welcoming housing is one of the most difficult challenges faced by our LGBT elders.”
Of the 84 studio and one-bedroom units, 26 will be set aside for seniors who have experienced homelessness. An on-site SAGE Center will provide health and cultural programs, meals, and a computer center for residents as well as community members. Supportive services also will be provided for the formerly homeless residents.
The development is a continuation of HELP USA’s three-decade commitment to develop affordable housing with supportive services to ensure people remain housed.
“For 30 years, we’ve worked tirelessly to sere communities who are under-resourced and underserved,” said HELP USA president and CEO Tom Hameline. “We are so proud to stand with SAGE and out partners at the state and city levels, as allies of New York’s LGBT population. A stable home and a new supportive community can make all the difference, and we’re happy to provide both with this new development.”
Crotona Seniors Residences is well-located in the Bronx’s Tremont neighborhood, close to public transportation, retail, services, and parks. The seven-story, energy-efficient building, designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning, also will have a rooftop terrace and a community garden.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided $1.5 million through its Community Investment Fund in addition to a low-income housing tax credit allocation, with Regions Affordable Housing as the tax credit equity provider, for the $41.4 million development. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Senior Affordable Rental Apartments program provided $10.2 million, including project-based Sec. 8 vouchers. Additional financing included $10 million in permanent financing from the Community Preservation Corp. through its funding agreement with the New York City Retirement System. The office of Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. and the office of New York City councilman Ritchie Torres each contributed $600,000.