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New Affordable-Housing Community Under Construction In Bronx

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The hard hat tour.

Community leaders, affordable-housing advocates and key investment partners toured a new 68-unit affordable-housing development under construction in Bronx that will integrate high-quality affordable housing with supportive services.

Located at 450-458 Gouverneur Place, the seven-story affordable-housing community will feature a mix of studios and 1- , 2- and 3-bedroom units, including a superintendent’s unit. Fifty of the units will be set aside for individuals with mental health disabilities, thanks to funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). All units will be affordable to families earning up to 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). Amenities will include a computer lounge, community room, onsite supportive services, laundry room, storage for bikes and other tenant property, and an outdoor recreation area.

Westhab, Inc., the largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing and supportive services in Westchester County, is the developer and will manage the property when completed in July 2016.

“Gouverneur Place is an important public-private partnership that will bring new, affordable housing for individuals and families in need to the Bronx,” said Richard Nightingale, president & CEO of Westhab, Inc. “When completed next year, this new community will bring hope and opportunity for the people who will call Gouverneur Place their home.”

The State of New York and UnitedHealthcare are the two major investors of the $20.7 million development.

The OMH and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) have awarded $11.7 million in capital funds and bonds for the project. OMH will also provide subsidies to support operating and supportive services costs once the building is open. New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided the 4 percent tax credits for the project.

“As one of the largest issuers of tax-exempt debt in the nation, DASNY understands the value that these funds provide to the development of critical social infrastructure projects across the state,” said Gerrard P. Bushell, DASNY president & CEO. “The Gouverneur Place project is a great example of how public-private partnerships can successfully advance our social goals.”

“Safe, secure, and affordable housing helps individuals with mental illness find recovery and build the resiliency they need to live happy and healthy lives in their home communities,” said Office of Mental Health
Commissioner Ann Marie T. Sullivan, M.D. “To date, the Office of Mental Health has created nearly 20,000 units of supported housing in New York State and is proud to extend our financial and technical support for the development of Gouverneur Place.”

The funding by the State of New York is part of Gov. Cuomo's unprecedented commitment to affordable housing and community revitalization, which includes the $1 billion House NY program, the state’s largest affordable-housing investment in nearly two decades. House NY is making progress creating and preserving more than 14,300 affordable homes over five years.

“The Gouverneur Place Apartments project is part of our mandate from Gov. Cuomo to provide safe, affordable and inclusive housing for a wide range of people,” said James S. Rubin, commissioner/CEO of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). “This collaborative effort is a prime example of our commitment to enhance the quality of life of our fellow New Yorkers.”

UnitedHealthcare, which employs 4,300 people in New York state and serves the health care needs of more than 3.8 million New Yorkers is investing $7.8 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity in partnership with Enterprise Community Investment. The credits are provided through HCR.

Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has provided more than $230 million to help build and invest in new community developments throughout the United States that provide affordable-housing opportunities with support services for low-income individuals and families, the homeless, military veterans, seniors and people with special needs.

“This partnership is helping people live healthier lives by connecting health to housing, expanding access to safe affordable housing with support services,” said Michael McGuire, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New York. “UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to work together with Enterprise and the other development partners to bring this new apartment community to the Bronx.”

Enterprise is a national organization that builds and preserves affordable housing in thriving communities connected to health care, good schools, jobs and transit. UnitedHealthcare and Enterprise have worked together to invest $105 million in affordable-housing developments in five states, including New York.

About DASNY: Founded in 1944, DASNY is one of the largest higher education, health care and public-purpose issuers of tax-exempt bonds in the nation with an outstanding bond portfolio of approximately $46.7 billion as of June 30, 2015. DASNY is also a major public builder in New York State with a construction pipeline of 1,035 projects valued at approximately $6.2 billion. For more information, visit dasny.org. Follow DASNY: here and DASNY’s Facebook page.

About Enterprise: 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 nearly 340,000 homes, invested $18.6 billion and touched millions of lives. Join us at EnterpriseCommunity.com or EnterpriseCommunity.org.

About New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR): New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agencies include the Affordable Housing Corporation, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and others. In 2014, HCR boasted a record year, financing the creation or preservation of 9,407 affordable housing units, including affordable home ownership opportunities for more than one thousand families. 2015 marks the third year of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion statewide House NY program, whose goal is to create or preserve 14,300 affordable units by 2018. As the largest investment in New York State’s affordable housing stock in at least 15 years, House NY investments will keep thousands of low- and moderate-income Mitchell-Lama units affordable for another 40 years. The House NY initiative works in tandem with HCR’s vigorous efforts to protect more than two million rent-regulated tenants thanks to the greatest strengthening of the State’s rent laws in 30 years, and the creation of HCR’s Tenant Protection Unit which proactively audits and investigates landlord wrongdoing and has returned more than 40,000 units to rent regulation.

About New York Office of Mental Health: New York State has a large, multi-faceted mental health system that serves more than 700,000 individuals each year. The Office of Mental Health (OMH) operates psychiatric centers across the State, and also regulates, certifies and oversees more than 4,500 programs, which are operated by local governments and nonprofit agencies. These programs include various inpatient and outpatient programs, emergency, community support, residential and family care programs. For more information visit omh.ny.gov.

About UnitedHealthcare: UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

About Westhab, Inc.: Westhab’s mission is: Building Communities. Changing Lives. Headquartered in Yonkers, Westhab is a leading not-for-profit provider of housing and social services for homeless and low-income families throughout Westchester County and the Bronx. Since 1981 Westhab has built 2,500 units of affordable housing, moved 6,000 homeless families to permanent housing, placed 4,000 public assistance recipients into employment, and delivered after-school services to over 10,000 youth. For more information, please visit westhab.org.

 

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The hard hat tour. Michael McGuire CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New York
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Mohammed Ademo

is a digital media student at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is covering Morrisania for the BronxInk.org. Ademo previously worked as a community organizer and activist. He is also the founder of OPride.com, a website that aggregates news about his home country of Ethiopia.