Building, Named After HANAC Founder George T. Douris, Provides 183 Units of Housing for Seniors, Senior Center, and Community Services
ASTORIA, NY – March 8, 2011 – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Former NYC Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero, Enterprise Community Partners, Citi, among others, joined HANAC, Inc., a nonprofit, multi-funded, citywide organization that serves local community residents, in opening today the HANAC George T. Douris Tower, a new green, mixed-use building providing affordable housing for seniors and community space for services that support them.
HANAC Astoria Senior Residence was developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), an $8.4 billion initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by 2014. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of more than 111,000 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs.
“One of the things that makes this City great is the depth of the compassion New Yorkers display for their neighbors and the care they put into their community. HANAC exemplifies that spirit, and the new HANAC George T. Douris Tower complex, which more than 225 senior citizens will call home, is a great example of it,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “To make it happen, HANAC harnessed the power of our New Housing Marketplace Plan, which is financing the creation or preservation of 165,000 homes by 2014, by raising financing from the New York City Housing Development Corporation and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and other partners, including the State, Enterprise and Citi. The new housing complex is the kind of development our plan to is meant to facilitate, and I’m confident that George Douris—the epitome of a caring and compassionate New Yorker— would be extremely proud to know that it bears his name.”
“It’s tough to build anything in New York, especially senior housing. My good friends at HANAC and Mayor Bloomberg and his team did an incredible job making this beautiful new building a reality,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). “A few years ago, I was thrilled to help present HANAC with a $400,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank to aid in the construction of the Douris Tower, and it’s wonderful that the building is now open and serving Queens seniors. George Douris was a true champion of our city’s most vulnerable residents. This building is a fitting tribute to his great work.”
“This new senior center is a fitting tribute to someone who had a deep love and appreciation for New Yorkers, especially those living in Astoria,” said Speaker Quinn. “I know everyone here today takes particular pride in knowing countless seniors will be able to access important services and programs ranging from housing to warm meals to social programs. What’s more, this spectacular new facility has been built green and environmentally sound. Many thanks to my colleagues in the Council, Commissioner Cestero, Borough President Marshall and HANAC for their commitment to helping our senior citizens.”
Located in the Astoria section of Queens on what was formerly an underutilized 43,829 -square-foot municipal parking lot, the HANAC George T. Douris Tower features 183 one-bedroom apartments for seniors earning up to 58 percent of area median income (currently $32,132 for a single person). The development also includes a senior center, integrating services and amenities such as exercise, meditation, arts and crafts, computer and conference rooms and a library that provide a supportive environment for seniors as they age in community. It was built according to the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, the only comprehensive green building framework for affordable housing, and is an Enterprise Green Communities-certified project.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said, “The life and legacy of George Douris will live on in this visible and lasting structure. Like George and HANAC, the organization he founded, this building will serve the community. It will provide much needed affordable housing, services for seniors and be environmentally green and friendly. I believe that George would be proud to have his name on such a structure.”
“George Douris believed in serving the community and dedicated himself to helping those most in need of assistance. It is only fitting that we name this senior housing and community center facility in his honor,” said John Kaiteris, Executive Director and CEO, HANAC Inc. “With this new facility, we hope to carry on George’s legacy and continue to meet the growing needs of the residents of Astoria.”
The NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provided $21.7M in tax-exempt bonds for the construction of the George T. Douris Tower and $3.5M in permanent financing, as well as $10.12M in subsidies under its Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP). Citi Community Capital provided the Letter of Credit guarantee on those bonds for the construction. Enterprise Community Partners provided HANAC with $18.3 M in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, a pre-development loan of over $433,000, and an Enterprise Green Communities grant of $40,000 to support the environmentally sustainable development. $2.2M was issued by the New York State Division of Housing & Community Renewal’s (DHCR) Homes for Working Families Program (HWF) and allocated tax credits to the project. HPD provided the project with $8M in Reso A Funds, which were allocated to the project by then City Councilmember Peter Vallone, Sr. A New York State Assembly capital grant, provided by then State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, also funded this project. The project also received support from New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Affordable Housing Program.
“Preserving neighborhoods by safe-guarding communities is one of HPD’s core goals,” said HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. “In this single development, we have done both—taking an underused site and through our development partnership, giving it new life as a sustainable and supportive home for seniors, creating a strong community within these walls that serves to strengthen the neighborhood outside. HANAC has been a great collaborator, and I can think of no greater tribute to its founder than to name this state-of –the-art building after George T. Douris.”
“HANAC’s George T. Douris Tower is a wonderful example of community development at its finest,” said Abby Jo Sigal, Vice President and New York Director, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “Not only do over 200 senior citizens now have access to healthy, affordable homes, but they are also able to be part of a supportive community and continue to live independent, active lives. Enterprise is proud to have contributed $18.3 million in LIHTC equity, over $433,000 in pre-development loan support, and a $40,000 Enterprise Green Communities grant to enable residents to age gracefully.”
The HANAC George T. Douris Tower features advanced green features both inside and out. The landscaping – using climate sensitive trees and plants – was specifically designed to increase the building’s energy efficiency, reduce heat island effect, control storm water runoff and create green space for residents to enjoy, including a green roof. Additionally, the building features water-conserving plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances, solar lighting, recycled content materials, low-VOC paints and adhesives, and a Green label carpet. The HANAC George T. Douris Towers also received NYSERDA certification for energy efficiency. Guidelines for NYSERDA’s program are similar to those of Enterprise’s Green Communities program.
Marc Jahr, President of HDC said, “This grand opening is the culmination of a truly collaborative effort among the private and public sectors. HANAC is continuing a great tradition of serving the needs of our senior citizens while creating an exemplary brick and mortar example of how sustainable homes can also be affordable to those on a fixed-income.” Under the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan HDC has created and preserved approximately 4,852 sustainable senior units in 19 developments across the five boroughs.
"Citi Community Capital, Citi's community development lending and investing group, provided nearly $22 million in construction financing to build George T. Douris Tower," said Eileen Auld, Regional Director for Citi Community Development, “Citi is committed to providing financing in those communities that need it most. Affordable, suitable housing is the cornerstone of financial inclusion." She added, "Providing this opportunity for our seniors is fundamentally important for their empowerment, and we are proud to be able to facilitate this project.”
In addition, the George T. Douris Tower has 24/7 security personnel to provide a safe environment and the capacity to respond day or night to resident emergencies. Outdoor facilities include two terraces on the green roof, a second floor terrace and a ground floor patio. The building will also house several social service coordinators onsite to assist residents in identifying and accessing medical and mental health services, social services, and other needs. The senior center is funded by the NYC Department for the Aging, health services are provided by Mount Sinai Hospital Queens, and Visiting Nurse Services and social service program development is made possible in partnership with the Queensboro Council for Social Welfare.
“HANAC has constructed one of the most welcoming senior residences in the city. Ask any resident or senior center participant – they couldn’t be happier with the facilities, space, design and services at the George Douris Tower,” said Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. “We’re proud to have contributed $8 million to this project.”
“HANAC has been the local weatherization provider in Astoria for many years and is a great partner to NYSERDA. Thanks to the energy-efficiency efforts of HANAC and its design team, the tenants will pay less for their utilities, making this project truly affordable housing,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “This building includes energy-saving features such as ENERGY STAR lighting, ENERGY STAR appliances, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, and high-performance insulation and windows. Because of these measures, this building is projected to use 20 percent less energy than a standard multifamily building built to code. The affordable housing community has been a pioneer in energy-saving activity, and the participants in the project deserve recognition for leading the movement – AEA as the MPP partner and HANAC as the developer."
“The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York is delighted to partner with Astoria Federal and HANAC to make this grand opening a reality of safe, decent and affordable homes for 200 seniors,” said Alfred DelliBovi, President of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. “It is part of our Congressionally-mandated mission to provide grants that fund sound housing initiatives exactly like the HANAC’s George T. Douris Tower, and we are proud to offer our support.”
Brian Lawlor, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) said, “The HANAC George T. Douris Tower illustrates the importance of mixed-use affordable housing and the difference it makes in people’s lives. The integrated housing and community renewal agencies of HCR worked together to provide $2.2 million from the Homes for Working Families Program and sufficient Low Income Housing Tax Credits to leverage $18.9 million in private investment, which makes it possible for Astoria seniors to live comfortably, affordably, and independently in a place that enhances quality of life throughout the entire community. I want to congratulate HANAC, Inc. and the people who will call this state-of-the art building home. And I thank all of our partners including Enterprise Community Partners, New York City Housing Development Corporation, and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The George T. Douris Tower will stand as a gleaming example of green, sustainable, affordable housing and a reminder of how the effective coordination of resources and strong partnerships can make a difference in neighborhoods across the state.”
About The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC)
The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout New York City. In partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, HDC works to implement Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the creation or preservation of 165,000 affordable housing units by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. Since the plan launched in 2003, HDC financed nearly 47,521 homes for low- , moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers. The New York City Housing Development Corporation is rated AA by S&P and Aa2 by Moody’s.
About The New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, a total of more than 111,000 affordable homes have been created or preserved by HPD and the NYC Housing Development Corporation. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd
HANAC, Inc., created in 1972, is a nonprofit, multi-funded, citywide organization that serves local community residents, which include but are not limited to low-income families and individuals, immigrants and refugees, youth, seniors, the unemployed and underemployed, and property owners. The organization develops and administers a range of programs that include housing and senior services. HANAC operates four senior centers in Queens that provide a variety of programs and services.
About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For more than 25 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested more than $10 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 250,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Enterprise is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year. Visit www.enterprisecommunity.org and www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity.
Since opening our New York office in 1987, Enterprise has created or preserved more than 32,000 affordable homes for 105,000 New Yorkers, and has committed nearly $2.2 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city.