Astoria, NY, November 15, 2013 – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, the Hellenic-American Neighborhood Action Committee (HANAC), the Presbyterian Church of Astoria (PCA), the US. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and residents gathered today to celebrate the grand opening of the HANAC-PCA Senior Residence in the Astoria section of Queens. The $24 million project, built on the former site of the Presbyterian Church of Astoria, has 66 new units of green, affordable senior housing and offers supportive services. Also celebrating the ribbon cutting were representatives from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Astoria Federal Savings, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. (Enterprise).
"HANAC-PCA Senior Residence is a critical example of how underutilized, faith-based sites can be used to create new housing in a city where land is scarce and the need for affordable housing is great," said John Kaiteris, Executive Director and CEO, HANAC. "With HANAC-PCA Senior Residence, not only can the building's 90 seniors age in place gracefully, but also get the care, socialization, and attention they deserve. We would like to thank the Presbyterian Church of Astoria, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator George Onorato, Queens Borough President, HUD, HCR, HPD, Enterprise, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, NYSERDA and all the other city and state partners who helped us make our vision come true."
"Since 1972, HANAC has made the needs of the elderly in Astoria a foremost priority by working with the City for senior centers, education initiatives, and counseling services," noted Mrs. Evangeline Douris, Chairman, HANAC. "Today, HANAC is proud to continue meeting the needs of Astoria’s elderly through housing, as well as employment, social service and entitlement counseling. We thank all of our partners and staff members who have worked hard to complete the HANAC-PCA Senior Residence to reinvigorate the lives of 90 seniors."
PCA Senior Residences was developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. For every dollar invested by the City for affordable housing, the NHMP has leveraged $3.48 in additional funding for a total investment of more than $23.6 billion. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of more than 156,769 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs, with 16,528 units in Queens.
Darryl C. Towns Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) said, "Seniors living on fixed incomes can be hit especially hard by spiraling housing costs. Governor Cuomo has committed $1 billion in the House New York Program to prioritize the creation and preservation of affordable housing. This project, combining affordable housing with support services, provides seniors with the means to be functionally independent for as long as possible. Community, family, and a strong social network are key to keeping seniors healthier longer. I congratulate HANAC and our public and private partners for bringing this project to completion, improving the quality of life of so many seniors, as well as growing the Astoria community."
"Providing our City's senior citizens with housing and services is at the core of the important work we do at HPD," said Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. "This development and the supportive services that are linked with it are both life changing and affirming. HANAC-PCA Senior Residence is an irreplaceable resource that will promote peace of mind and stability for its residents. There are few more worthwhile efforts than those that can help create or strengthen the heart of a community. We at HPD thank all of our partners who made the development of this much-needed housing possible."
"HUD is proud to be part of this wonderful public-private partnership in which our Department provided HANAC with a $10.25 million grant under our Section 202 Supportive Housing Program for the Elderly," said Acting Regional Administrator Mirza Orriols. “This beautiful, modern and safe building with many green features will house 90 seniors and offer them numerous amenities to enhance and enrich their lives. In these very challenging economic times, where credit remains tight, it is very impressive to see that so many of our partners remain committed to affordable housing and sustainable neighborhoods. That is why I wish to offer my heart-felt congratulations to HANAC, the Presbyterian Church of Astoria, HPD, HCR, NYSERDA, the Federal Home Loan Bank, and so many others for creating HANAC-PCA Senior Residence and bringing joy and hope to so many deserving seniors."
Located at 31-34 33rd Street, the HANAC-PCA Senior Residence is a six story building with 56 one-bedroom units, nine studio apartments, and a two-bedroom superintendent’s unit. Apartments are targeted to low-income senior citizens ages 62 years or older with incomes at or below 50% of Area Median Income (AMI); the equivalent of a maximum annual income of $29,050 for an individual according to 2012 calculations. AMI levels are calculated annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Renewal (HUD). The building also has community facility areas, including a community room with full kitchen, social service offices, as well as a vegetable garden and a bocce ball court, enhancing opportunities for residents to interact.
The HANAC-PCA Senior Residence was constructed on the site of the former Presbyterian Church of Astoria (PCA). Facing fiscal difficulties, the church leadership engaged Enterprise and HANAC to help craft a solution that would remedy the institution’s financial troubles while adhering to its mission of contributing to the well-being of the community it serves. The resulting plan to create an affordable housing development that would serve the needs of low-income senior citizens met this need. Decorative elements original to the Presbyterian Church of Astoria have been incorporated into the new building lobby’s design to pay homage to the history of the site.
HANAC-PCA was designed to meet all applicable accessibility guidelines for people with disabilities and its construction followed Enterprise Green Communities criteria, a comprehensive set of guidelines to encourage green building practices by developers of affordable housing. HANAC-PCA also is participating in the NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Program. Through this program, HANAC and its green design partners were able to includes the provision of a high efficiency heating system, installation of water- conserving fixtures, landscaped gardens featuring native trees and plants that minimize water usage, and exclusive use of Energy Star label appliances. Through these efforts, the HANAC-PCA Senior Residence will use 20 percent less energy to operate the building as compared to a non-energy efficient counterpart.
HANAC-PCA has an on-site service coordinator who provides information and referral services, benefits counseling, as well as coordination with other service providers such as home care and meals on wheels for the tenants. Also, the coordinator schedules recreational and educational programs, which will focus on preventing social isolation and informing tenants about important matters for their nutrition, health, safety, and general well-being.
"I am very happy to have been a part in making the HANAC-PCA Senior Residence possible. I wish all the residents a long and happy life," said State Senator George Onorato.
"HANAC has a long history of serving those in need in our community, and this public dedication continues that tradition by expanding quality, affordable housing for seniors," said Senator Michael Gianaris. "I look forward to continuing my work with HANAC to ensure that our seniors have access to the quality of life and services they deserve."
The total development cost for the project was approximately $23.7 million. HUD provided a Section 202 Capital Advance Fund Reservation of $10.6 million and a pre-development grant of $399,608. HPD provided $2.1 million in federal HOME loan funding. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall gave $1.5 million in Reso A funding to the project. The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York provided a $600,000 grant. Former New York State Senator Onorato provided a $300,000 Capital Grant. HCR is providing $8.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits; Enterprise is the tax credit syndicator. The project will receive rent subsidy for all of the apartments through the Project Rental Assistant Contract (PRAC) under the HUD Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program, which ensures that the tenants’ rents remain affordable.
"New York City's high cost of living makes it challenging for low-income seniors to age in quality, safe, and affordable homes within their community. Thanks to HANAC-PCA Senior Residence’s commitment to energy efficiency and design, as well as its comprehensive services, 90 of Astoria's seniors now have a stable, vibrant, and supportive community to help them age gracefully," said Daniel Magidson, Vice President, Enterprise. "Vital developments like HANAC-PCA are not possible without public-private support such as HUD Section 202 and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and we’re proud to provide $8.6 million in low-income housing tax credit equity."
About New York State 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 Housing Finance Agency, the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. HCR is committed to collaborating with partners, and keeping homes affordable and communities strong by protecting one million rent-regulated units, managing a portfolio of more than 190,000 multifamily units and administering more than $1.5 billion each year to expand affordable housing opportunities and build strong communities throughout New York State.
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 end of fiscal year 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 156,769 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For regular updates on news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychpd and www.twitter.com/nychousing. For more information, visit our website at 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 social service programs and senior transportation services.
About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise works with partners nationwide to build opportunity. We create and advocate for affordable homes in thriving communities linked to jobs, good schools, health care and transportation. We lend funds, finance development and manage and build affordable housing, while shaping new strategies, solutions and policy. Over more than 30 years, Enterprise has created 300,000 homes, invested nearly $14 billion and touched millions of lives. Join us at www.EnterpriseCommunity.com or www.EnterpriseCommunity.org.
About the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.