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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Juliet Morris, HPD (212) 863-5682


HPD AND HCR JOIN PRAXIS HOUSING INITIATIVES ELECTED OFFICIALS AND PARTNERS TO CELEBRATE THE START OF CONSTRUCTION FOR A NEW SUPPORTIVE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN THE BRONX

New development to bring 61 new units of affordable housing to the Northeast Bronx with onsite support services for residents. 

(Bronx, NY) – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) today joined Praxis Housing Initiatives, Inc. CEO Svein Jorgensen and partners for the groundbreaking ceremony for 4339 White Plains Road, a new supportive housing development.   Located at 4339 White Plains Road in the Bronx, construction began today on a 7-story building slated to offer 61 new units of affordable housing for New Yorkers with special needs. Also in attendance were Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and New York State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson. 

4339 White Plains Road will be developed as part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). The NHMP is a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of Fiscal Year 2014. For every dollar invested by the City, the Plan has leveraged $3.41 in private funding for a total commitment of more than $19.4 billion to fund the creation or preservation of over 143,138 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs, with more than 45,469 units financed in the Bronx. 

“We believe it’s important to create housing for New York City residents that is within their reach. It is even more important that we create affordable housing specifically designed for New Yorkers with special needs,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “Facing financial difficulty coupled with a physical or mental disablement makes finding a home a tough hurdle to overcome. However, with the help of organizations like Praxis and investment from our partners in the City, State and private funders we can give New York City’s most vulnerable populations the helping hand they need to thrive in a safe, affordable and supportive place to call their own. I am proud to participate in the creation of supportive housing in New York City and thank all of the HPD staff and partnering agencies for making developments like this possible.” 

“While the tax credits that New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) issued will help construct this project, it is perhaps more important that we underscore the critical role of supportive housing,” said HCR Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns.   “This past year, Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team dramatically increased the investment in supportive housing statewide, demonstrating the wisdom of providing client services in a safe and stable home environment.  In addition to effectively serving clients, supportive housing like that being built here in the Bronx will also reduce the overall healthcare costs associated with repeated hospital admissions. I salute Praxis Housing Initiatives for partnering with the State and the City to provide a better quality of life for these neediest New Yorkers.” 

“I believe there are few projects more important to the growth of our extraordinary city than effective affordable housing models that can meet the growing housing and service needs of persons with disabilities. Working hand in hand with our stakeholders, our project builds on the tremendous accomplishments of supportive housing in recent years,” said Svein Jorgenson, CEO of Praxis Housing Initiatives. “We are particularly pleased one third of our units will be dedicated to homeless couples without children, this will be one of HPDs first housing models developed to specifically address the needs of couples without children.” 

The new building will include 61 units, to include 19 alcove studios, 41 studios, and 1 one-bedroom apartment for a superintendent. Residents will have access to onsite supportive services including counseling services, vocational services, and job placement assistance. Onsite support services will be provided by Praxis with NY/NY III funding from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). All units are available to tenants referred by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). Income restrictions limit availability to individuals earning no more than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or $34,860 for an individual. Income levels are determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For more information on current housing lotteries, how to apply to an open lottery, and if you would like to receive an e-mail when HPD has updated its website concerning available apartment and home listings for City-subsidized housing in the five boroughs, please visit the Apartment Seekers and Homebuyers pages at www.nyc.gov

“The development of 4339 White Plains Road is a welcomed addition to our borough, and will provide much-needed affordable housing and supportive services to families and individuals with special needs. Housing is a major issue, not just in the Bronx but across the City, and I am proud to say that, thanks to projects like these, the Bronx is leading the way in providing housing opportunities for everyone. I thank Praxis Housing Initiatives, the City, State and all the partners involved for investing in our residents with special needs and helping them build toward a brighter future," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. 

“As Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services, I have been particularly aware of the need to provide people with disabilities affordable supportive housing in order for them to thrive in our society,” said City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell. “I, therefore, applaud the partnership between Praxis Housing Initiatives and the city and state that is creating the kind of housing for people with special needs that will better their quality of life and I am pleased that this initiative is taking place in my Council district.” 

The White Plains Road project is part of the Healthy Housing through Horticulture (HHH) program, a larger effort initiated by Praxis and partners across New York City to create green jobs, promote environmental stewardship, and provide recreation and nutritional education for supportive housing residents and neighbors. The initiative will offer residents job training, retail sales, and community involvement, as well as providing healthy produce and horticultural therapy. The horticulture program for the White Plains Road Residence will also work closely with a neighborhood community garden and the Bronx Botanical Gardens. In addition, the development will pursue LEED Gold certification and complies with Enterprise Green Community standards. 

The total development cost for 4339 White Plains Road is $19.6 million. HPD contributed $7.5 million in HOME funding and facilitated $125,000 in City Capital and $500,000 in Reso A funds from the Bronx Borough President. New York State’s investment includes a more than $9.8 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits provided by HCR and $81,299 from NYSERDA. Richman Housing Resources will provide syndication for the tax credits. Bank of America served as the bank partner on this deal.

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 About the 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 143,138 affordable homes have been financed. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd   

About NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) consists of all the State's major housing and community renewal agencies, including the State of New York Mortgage Agency, the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, the Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. 

About Praxis Housing Initiatives, Inc.

Praxis is one of New York City’s largest providers of congregate supportive housing for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. Founded in 1995, Praxis Housing Initiatives’ (Praxis) mission is to stabilize chronically homeless persons living with special needs through clean, safe housing and to provide services that lead to recovery, stability, and ultimately, independence. Since its inception Praxis has provided housing with onsite services to over 20,000 people and since 2002 has placed over 5,000 people into permanent housing. For more information, visit www.praxishousing.org 




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