October 21, 2022
El Borinquen Residence Delivers 148 Affordable Apartments to Morrisania, Including 90 With Supportive Services for People Experiencing Homelessness
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul and today announced the completion of a $62 million affordable housing development in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. The El Borinquen Residence includes 148 affordable apartments, including 90 with on-site supportive services for people experiencing homelessness and 29 homes for seniors.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, "With the completion of the El Borinquen Residence, more of our neighbors experiencing homelessness and mental illness will have a place they can call home. Our administration's Housing Our Neighbors blueprint finally treats homelessness as a housing problem and we're working to solve it with a housing solution, and supportive housing projects like El Borinquen are a critical part of making that solution reality. Thank you to our partners helping to 'Get Stuff Done' for the Bronx and New York City."
"Affordable and supportive housing is a fundamental component to addressing homelessness across the state," Governor Hochul said. "Building on the successful opening of the El Borinquen Residence, my administration is implementing our $25 billion, five-year housing plan that will allow us to continue to make important investments in communities like the Bronx. By increasing the supply of high-quality inclusive housing, we can ensure that New Yorkers have not only an affordable place to call home, but also access to the supportive services they need to thrive."
The El Borinquen Residence consists of a single ten-story building with 148 apartments. The colorful streetside façade along Third Avenue was designed to reflect the Puerto Rican culture of the surrounding neighborhood.
Ninety apartments are reserved for formerly homeless adults and youth or young adults aging out of foster care. These residents have access to rental subsidies and on-site services funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.
Supportive services include individual case management, mental health referrals, job readiness training, and financial literacy workshops. Comunilife is the service provider as well as the project’s developer.
In addition to the supportive units, 29 apartments are reserved for seniors aged 62 and older earning at or below 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). The remaining apartments are reserved for households earning at or below 60 percent of the AMI.
Residential amenities include a community space for events, a bike room, a landscaped area on the ground floor for passive recreation, and a roof garden. The development is located within a mixed-use residential and commercial area with access to local amenities and within 10 blocks of four subway lines.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) provided $14.2 million through the Supportive Housing Loan Program. State financing for the El Borinquen Residence includes $7.7 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, Federal Low-Income Tax Credits that generated $23.2 million in equity and $14.3 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR).
“We are thrilled to welcome 148 individuals and households to their new homes at El Borinquen Residence,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Developed with the community in mind, El Borinquen will provide life-changing services and security to vulnerable New Yorkers. From young adults aging out of foster care to extremely low-income seniors, every new resident here will have the support they need thanks to our partners at Comunilife and our colleagues at the state.”
“Through the provision of state-of-the-art affordable housing and supportive services to vulnerable New Yorkers, the El Borinquen Residence will deliver the stability, comfort, and security that New Yorkers in need deserve,” said New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “We are committed to connecting New Yorkers in need to high-quality housing opportunities, and projects like this are essential to our efforts to do so. We are immensely grateful to our partners in city and state government, as well as all others who worked so hard to make this development a reality. We look forward to building on these efforts to make New York City more equitable and affordable for all residents.”
State Senator Luis Sepúlveda said, "I welcome El Borinquén to our great Bronx family. Every time we are able to witness the completion of more housing in our district, it fills me with hope and joy. With this we add 148 apartments, and they will become homes for our people. I make the reference to home, because a place to live is not the same as a dignified, humane and safe place that becomes a home. With a $62 million investment, the help of public officials and private enterprise and the convention of improving the lives of our people, today El Borinquén is a reality. This name is very special to me because it speaks of my land and the land of my parents, Puerto Rico. Welcome to your new home "Borinqueños".
Assemblymember Chantel Jackson said, "I am very happy to learn that New York State Homes and Community Renewal has completed the construction of the El Borinquen Residence, a new affordable housing complex in Morrisania. This new residence was uniquely designed to meet the needs of the local community it will serve - it features affordable housing units, special resources reserved for transient individuals, and on-site residential amenities. Its completion brings us closer to a future in which, in the Bronx, housing is not a privilege, but a right held by every member of the community."
Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson said, "While New York City is experiencing a housing crisis, we are grateful for this day when we can welcome Comunilife's El Borinquen Residence, a building that will provide 148 supportive and affordable apartments for people with special needs. Not only are wrap-around social services available on-site, but tenants can also expect 24-hour security, a computer lounge, outdoor patios and gardens and other amazing amenities for our residents and families. I would like to thank President and CEO of Comunilife, Rosa M. Gil, and all the community partners for their vision and advocacy that has brought us to this day."
City Councilmember Althea Stevens said, "I am beyond excited for the introduction of El Borinquen to Morrisania. This amazing investment is vital in the progression of the quality of life in our community. With its unique approach to fully integrate arts and culture while providing equitable mental health services will be an amazing asset for our community members."
Dr. Rosa M. Gil, Comunilife President and CEO, said, "This building is a crown jewel for integrating the arts into supportive housing development. It is filled with joy, color, vitality, and inspiration. These are all essential components for healing and people transforming their life. At Comunilife, we are thrilled to enter this new era of supportive housing design and development where quality of life is informed and impacted by the peace, inspiration and sensibility that art, beauty and culture can create. Cultural sensibility has been at the core of every initiative we have ever done, but a project of this massive scale, brings it to a whole new level."