Concern for Independent Living and Georgica Green Ventures Celebrate the Grand Opening of Surf Vets Place in Coney Island

November 20, 2019

Press Office:

Brooklyn, NY – Concern for Independent Living, a leading non-profit provider of affordable and supportive housing and Georgica Green Ventures, a full-service affordable housing developer and asset manager, held a held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony today to celebrate the opening of Surf Vets Place, a 135-unit supportive and affordable housing development for homeless veterans and low-income families in need of affordable housing in Coney Island, Brooklyn. 

Located one block from Coney Island beach and boardwalk, Surf Vets Place includes studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as an exercise room, community room and computer room. Funding for this project was provided by NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA), BNY Mellon, and National Equity Fund.

“The transition from military to civilian life is not an easy one, and too often, our veterans find themselves in a hard place after putting the needs of our country before their own,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “That is why this administration is committed to ending homelessness among veterans. We are proud to partner with Concern for Independent Living and Georgica Green Ventures to provide 82 veterans with homes and supportive services to help them thrive.”

“It is a great honor to provide housing to the men and women who served our country and protected our freedoms,” said Ralph Fasano, Executive Director of Concern for Independent Living, Inc. “This housing represents the solution to getting our Veterans out of shelters and into the high quality housing that they deserve. It is the result of tremendous collaboration between New York State and New York City, along with a talented, committed development team. We thank Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for making this possible.” 

"We are excited to announce the opening of 135 new affordable housing rental units in Coney Island,” said David Gallo, President of Georgica Green Ventures LLC. “We have been very fortunate to work with a great team at New York State Housing Finance Agency, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and New York State Economic Development Council to take the first step in spurring future development in Coney Island. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide much needed quality affordable housing, along with our partner, Concern for Independent Living. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support, hard work and determination of all our important partnerships.” 

Assemblyperson Mathylde Frontus said, “I’m elated that Surf Vets Place is open, providing much-needed housing in Coney Island to homeless veterans, and low-income residents.  Our veterans have served and sacrificed a lot for our country, and it’s wonderful that homeless veterans can move out of the shelter system and have a place to finally call home.  This residence affirms our drive to create more necessary affordable housing in NYC.”

"Those who served this country should never have to worry about having a roof over their heads," said Senator Diane J. Savino. "Surf Vets Place will provide veterans not just with the housing they deserve, but the support and resources they need to get back on their feet. The trauma of war often makes so many of these brave men and women vulnerable and the least we can do is ensure they are taken care of upon their return. I look forward to the positive impact this will have for our Coney Island veterans."  

“It’s important that we ensure that all veterans receive the benefits, supportive services, and resources that they need to thrive in civilian life. No veteran should be on the street. I have been proud to work with Concern for Independent Living and Georgica Green Ventures to see this project take shape. Surf Vets Place provides 82 brand new units of housing for homeless veterans, with wraparound services such as mental health counseling, workforce development training, and case workers available onsite. It also features 53 additional units for low-income residents, at deep levels of affordability, with half of the units reserved for local residents. Far too many Coney Islanders struggle with housing insecurity and are severely rent-burdened. Everyone deserves a safe, clean, and affordable place to call home,” said Council Member Mark Treyger (Coney Island, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend).

Borough President Eric Adams said “Surf Vets Place in Coney Island is exactly the type of facility that is needed to provide our formerly homeless veterans, as well as low-income individuals and families, with the broad range of comprehensive wraparound services that can help them all lead independent, productive lives. I applaud the administrative staff of Surf Vets Place for not only providing a safe, warm place for them to lay their heads at night, but for doing so with a focus on compassion.”

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “As part of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to prevent homelessness, we are delivering supportive housing to communities across the state to help vulnerable New Yorkers achieve the stability and independence that a secure home can provide. Surf Vets Place offers affordable homes for 135 households, including veterans, along with access to services. We are proud to support the men and women who have served our country and ensure that they have the resources they need to thrive. Congratulations to our many private and public partners for the completion of a wonderful new development in Brooklyn.”

New York State State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, “We have a profound obligation to support the men and women who served in our nation’s armed forces –especially when they fall on hard times. Surf Vets Place is a beacon of hope for veterans experiencing homelessness and an affirmation of New York’s commitment to ensuring they have access to permanent stable housing. We are proud to see this development come to fruition and move our state another step closer to ending homelessness among our state’s veteran population once and for all.”

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Surf Vets Place is more than just a beautiful development that will help to revitalize the surrounding community.  It is a valuable resource that will offer homeless veterans living with mental illness the stable and safe supportive housing they need to live and thrive in their own community.  I am proud that OMH helped make Surf Vets Place a reality, and I congratulate and thank Concern for Independent Living, and Georgica Green Ventures, for their great work.”

“Surf Vets offers veterans a chance for a new chapter in their lives, one with a built-in community to help them where they are today, and where they want to go tomorrow,” said New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, Commissioner James Hendon. “I am proud that DVS was able to partner with Concern for Independent Living in finding new homes for these 82 formerly homeless veterans, and look forward to continuing this partnership in the future. It’s days like this, with partners like this, that take us one step closer to ending veteran homelessness in NYC.”

Clarence L. Burleigh III, Director of BNY Mellon said BNY Mellon is committed to providing financing for affordable housing developments in high-cost markets like New York City and appreciates the partnership with the team responsible for Surf Vets Place.

“It takes all the creativity of market leaders like Concern for Independent Living and Georgica Green Ventures to make supportive housing projects like Surf Vets Place come to life,” said Nixon Peabody partner Aaron Yowell from the firm’s Affordable Housing and Real Estate practice. “We look forward to continue working closely with Ralph, Dave and their teams to help provide critically needed affordable housing for veterans and their families.”

Nixon Peabody’s Aaron Yowell, Dana Roper and Deborah VanAmerongen advised Concern for Independent Living in this project.


The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026.  For full details visit and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.

Georgica Green Ventures, LLC is a full-service affordable housing developer and asset manager. Grounded in the belief that people of all backgrounds deserve quality and affordable housing, the company, under the leadership of founder and President David J. Gallo, has become the regional leader in structuring financing from public and private sources to build affordable, supportive, and senior developments that serve communities for generations.

Concern for Independent Living, Inc. is a non-profit agency committed to providing housing and services the enrich lives of the people we serve and strengthen communities. Concern is one of the largest housing agencies of this kind in New York State, currently serving over 1,500 individuals and families in over 240 locations. Concern offers a variety of housing options with individualized support services designed to support personal growth and independence.