Council Towers V Provides 70 New Units of Affordable Housing and On-Site Support Services for Low-Income Senior Citizens
New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua joined Congressman Joseph Crowley, New York State Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, and Met Council today as they celebrated the grand opening of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Council Towers V today in the Bronx. The new apartment building provides 70 units of affordable housing for low-income seniors, age 62 and older. Council Towers V were developed on formerly city-owned land through the competitively bid Cornerstone Program, an HPD multi-family new construction initiative.
Council Towers V was developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), an $8.5 billion initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of over 125,000 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs; 37,464 of those units in the Bronx with 1,005 units located in Community District 10 where Council Towers V is located.
“Far too often people of limited means, like many of our senior citizens, are forced to choose between paying for housing or using those resources to pay for other necessities,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “Council Towers V will offer seniors affordable, safe, new homes with on-site support services tailored to their needs. By removing the burden of that untenable choice we have restored a very real sense of stability and security to one of our most vulnerable populations. I thank the Met Council, Congressman Crowley, Borough President Diaz and all of our partners for helping to provide our city’s seniors with a place where they can live with respect and dignity.”
“New Yorkers in need are still having a difficult time making ends meet. Families in crisis, the poor frail elderly, and children at risk all face hard times every day. Our menu of comprehensive services help thousands get back on their feet. Among our programs, affordable housing is needed more than ever across New York City. Thousands of applications are sent in for each housing project we build,” explains William E. Rapfogel, Met Council CEO and Executive Director. “By helping our clients find a stable place to live, we are able to empower them to get their lives back on track. We are so grateful to the builders, developers and government agencies that support our mission of bringing affordable housing to communities in need.”
The Council Towers V development is immediately adjacent to Met Council’s Weinberg Council Towers I. Council Towers V is the latest addition to Met Council’s Tower developments which are spread throughout the boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx.. Each development provides a safe environment with on-site programs that meet the needs of residents. Council Towers V in the Bronx stands at 11 stories with 70 one-bedroom units reserved for seniors. Of the 70 units, 21 units will be set aside for formerly homeless seniors. Council Towers V will serve seniors at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) which is equivalent to an annual income of not more than $28,650 for an individual. The development is funded under HUD’s Section 202 program, which limits the tenant’s rental contribution to 30 percent of household income. Building amenities include two community rooms, an outdoor recreation deck and a resident lounge. The building has been designed with the safety of seniors in mind. The building is handicapped accessible and features grab bars, emergency pull cords, and closed-circuit television.
“I am so pleased Met Council shares my commitment to making sure Co-op City remains a great place to live, raise a family and retire in,” said Congressman Joseph Crowley. “Their investment in creating affordable housing in the community will ensure local seniors can continue to live in their own homes while maintaining access to needed services. I thank the Met Council for their efforts to care for our nation’s greatest generation.”
The total development costs for Council Towers V is $17,557,000. The development received a total of $1,105,000 in HOME funds provided by HPD and an additional $800,000 in Reso A funds through HPD’s Senior Housing Program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has contributed $13,283,400 under the Section 202 program and $286,000 in pre-development costs. Federal Home Loan Bank provided $400,000 for the construction of this development. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) contributed $150,000 to the development.
“Providing a warm and welcoming home for our elders, embraced with the loving support of organizations such as the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, is a mainstay of my platform as Borough President,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “Wherever possible, I seek opportunities to partner in the development of housing for seniors. In this case, I am proud to have provided funding to construct Council Towers V. I join the Met Council in celebrating another of their wonderful senior housing developments; this one in the heart of Co-op City, which is itself the largest Naturally Occurring Retirement Community in the country.
“Over the last ten years the Borough President’s Office has financially leveraged approximately $340 million with $17 million in capital allocations and over 1,800 units of housing developed specifically for seniors. This represents 20 percent of our total housing budget”
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
HPD’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. It is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing. HPD also actively promotes the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. (www.nyc.gov/hpd)
Met Council is one of New York’s largest human services agencies, providing 100,000 New Yorkers with critical services in their fight against poverty every year. Since 1972, Met Council has been an advocate and defender for New Yorkers in need, and has raised awareness around the growing problem of Jewish poverty. With services ranging from domestic violence counseling to kosher food pantries to career training, Met Council helps individuals find lasting solutions to poverty.
Met Council stands as a national leader in developing and managing affordable housing for low-income and vulnerable individuals and families throughout New York City. Working with private developers and government agencies, Met Council has developed and currently operates nearly 1,400 affordable housing units, with another 700 units in the pipeline. To learn more, visit www.metcouncil.org.