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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eric Bederman (HPD) 212-863-5176


HPD, OTDA AND LANTERN GROUP CELEBRATE COMPLETION OF VICINITAS HALL, A SUPPORTIVE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN THE BRONX

Vicinitas Hall Offers 68 New Affordable Apartments and Social Services Geared Towards Young Adults Aging Out Of Foster Care 

BRONX, NY – NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Executive Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin, the Lantern Group, a non-profit developer of New York City affordable housing, and their partners announced today the completion of Vicinitas Hall.  Located at 507 East 176th Street, Vicinitas Hall is a new 68-unit supportive housing development in the East Tremont section of the Bronx with a preference given to young working adults and those aging out of the foster care system. 

Vicinitas Hall was built under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, multibillion dollar 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 more than 126,800 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs.  More than 38,900 units have been financed in the Bronx and more than 3,500 of these units are in Community Board 6 where Vicinitas Hall is located. 

“For some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers a quality, affordable home is the touchstone that can lead to a path of stability in their lives,” said Mathew M. Wambua, Commissioner, HPD.  “Vicinitas Hall is a place where young adults who have aged out of the foster care system can find that stability in a safe and supportive environment.  I thank the Lantern Group for their continued dedication to providing affordable housing to those most in need, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and all of our partners who have helped to make this day a reality.” 

“Vicinitas Hall will provide not only safe, quality housing, it will also offer vital support services for young people to further their education, seek employment and fully participate in community life,” said Elizabeth Berlin,  Executive Deputy Commissioner, OTDA.  “New York State, through our Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, has led the nation in its commitment to the idea that supportive housing is fundamental to breaking the cycle of chronic homelessness.  We are grateful for the work of the Lantern Group and are pleased to once again work with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and our other partners on this exciting project.” 

“Vicinitas Hall will assist a specialized portion of the population make the transition to permanent housing in a supportive environment,” said Alissa Kampner Rudin, Chief Operating Officer, Lantern Community Services.  “The building is an amazing addition to this vibrant community, but it’s more than just a place to live.  We provide a full range of supportive services to help our young adult tenants prosper as they begin a new chapter in their lives.  We look forward to welcoming people to the property, which is another example of the quality, affordable housing that is synonymous with Lantern.” 

Vicinitas Hall is a seven-story residential building with community space on the cellar level.  The 41,000-square-foot property was built on a former parking lot and includes recreation rooms, a landscaped rear yard, 24-hour security desk and offices for case management staff.  The building’s community rooms are available to local neighborhood groups and organizations for meetings and events.  Young adults ages 18-21, who have aged out of foster care and are referred by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), will be given a preference for forty-one of the sixty-eight furnished studio apartments.  For these young adults, moving into Vicinitas Hall is an important first step towards stable, independent living.  The remaining 27 units are available to working community residents.  The units will be available to tenants earning no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or what is equivalent to an annual income of $33,300 for a single person.  All tenants have access to social workers and case management staff that will provide counseling, case management, facilitated groups, community referrals and employment and educational assistance.

The construction and operation of Vicinitas Hall provided an economic boost for the community.  Vicinitas Hall was constructed with materials purchased from local businesses that have struggled during the economic downturn including Crystal Windows in Queens and Bronx-based Jenna Concrete, among others.  The building was designed by OCV Architects and constructed by Bayview Real Estate Consultants, Inc.  At the peak of construction, up to 70 jobs had been created; and 13 permanent jobs have been added in the form of full-time social service staff members, front desk security guards and maintenance staff. 

The total development cost for Vicinitas Hall was approximately $15.9 million.  HPD provided more than $8 million toward the project, including more than $7 million through its Supportive Housing Loan Program (SHLP), and $1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds.  OTDA provided $3.1 million through its Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP).  The project also utilized $4.7 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.  Predevelopment financing was provided by the Corporation for Supportive Housing. 

About NYC Department of 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 the close of the 2014 fiscal year.  Since the plan’s inception, more than 126,800 affordable homes have been financed.  For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd

About Lantern Group:

Lantern Group is a not-for-profit housing developer and service provider, established in 1997 to participate in activities that strengthen New York City communities.  With affordable housing sites located in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn, Lantern Group specializes in developing affordable housing for people living with a continuing disability and who have a history of homelessness.  Lantern Community Services ("LCS"), the social services affiliate of Lantern Group, provides direct services to the tenants.  LCS provides services to residents living in more than 1,000 units of permanent, affordable and supportive housing for low-income families and individuals living with special needs including mental illness, HIV/AIDS, as well as young adults aging out of foster care. For more information, visit www.lanterngroup.org  

 

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