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Homes and Community Renewal

HCR, OMH and Partners Announce Opening of $20 Million, 53-Unit, Herkimer Street Residence

Integrative, Supportive Housing for Low-Income, Formerly Homeless People; State-of-the-Art Affordable Apartments for Low-Income Households

State agencies and partners dedicated the Herkimer Street Residence, a 53-unit housing development in Brooklyn for low income individuals and formerly homeless adults recovering from mental illness. New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), elected officials, The Bridge, Enterprise Community Partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and TD Bank joined to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the new building, constructed under the NY/NY III supportive housing program. Of the 53 apartments in the building, 33 studios and two-bedroom apartments are reserved for formerly homeless adults recovering from mental illness and young adults aging out of foster care.  The remaining 20 two-bedroom apartments are for low-income families, selected through a lottery.

HCR Commissioner/CEO James S. Rubin said: “The Herkimer Street Residence provides a secure home with supportive services for people who have a history of being homeless. It also offers the opportunity of new affordable housing for low-income households. Whether the tenant is formerly homeless or in need of good quality stable housing to raise a family, this building represents the possibility of a new, more stable life. Governor Cuomo is committed to providing affordable housing opportunities to New Yorkers throughout the state. This is a tangible result of that commitment. ”

In his State of the State and Budget Message, Governor Cuomo proposed to invest $20 billion over five years for two historic proposals: a $10 billion House NY 2020 to create and preserve 100,000 affordable housing units and a $10 billion Homelessness Action Plan to support the creation of 6,000 new supportive housing apartments over the next five years through the state and a total of 20,000 supportive units in 15 years.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan said: “Safe and stable housing provides the backbone of recovery that homeless individuals with mental illness need to succeed both personally and professionally. The Herkimer Street Residence will provide the stability these individuals need to find their footing and thrive. The Office of Mental Health is proud to help launch another affordable housing option in Brooklyn while extending our wrap-around mental health services to the city’s most vulnerable population.”

For those who were formerly homeless, Herkimer Street Residence provides access to supportive services, amenities, and an active community. Supportive services include on-site case management and peer counseling. The development is also conveniently located near community resources including the Interfaith Medical Center, which has a partnership with The Bridge, shopping, and public transportation. OMH also provides rental subsidies, service dollars, and funds to help young adults continue their schooling, obtain vocational training, and become actively involved in the community. Building amenities include a computer lab, laundry, 24/7 front desk coverage, a community room with a kitchen for social and recreational activities, on-site parking, and a backyard seating area which will have a small playground for the very young children in the building.

The total development cost for the project was $20.1 million. The project received tax credit construction funding from HCR and a $9.2 million construction loan from the Bank of America. Enterprise Community Investment syndicated $10.5 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. TD Bank provided the tax credit equity. Funding for the project’s operations is made available through a New York State OMH contract, which has been awarded to the project for approximately $1.6 million annually to fund rental subsidy for 40 formerly homeless tenants recovering from mental illness, supportive service and debt service. These tenants pay 30 percent of their annual income for rent, and the families pay $573/month in rent. (All tenants pay their own utilities). Bank of America Merrill Lynch also originated a permanent loan, which will be assigned to the New York City Employee Retirement System. (NYCERS).

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch is pleased to work with Enterprise and The Bridge to help build supportive and affordable housing for families and those with special needs in Brooklyn,” said Maurice Coleman, senior vice president, Community Development, Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “This is a great example of how public-private partnerships can address the needs of our most vulnerable residents while building strong, safe and supportive neighborhoods throughout New York City.”

“We are incredibly pleased to welcome our 53 new tenants to the Herkimer Street Residence, our first integrated building with both supportive housing and affordable family units. We opened the building in late August and were fully rented by the end of October,” said Susan Wiviott, CEO, The Bridge. “We look forward to working with the newly formed community Advisory Committee. They have already met in our community room and have offered to volunteer at the program. We expect to be part of this community for many years, and are gratified that we can offer safe and affordable housing to our residents.”

The building meets HCR Green Building criteria and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Multi-Family Performance Program requirements, and received a NYSERDA grant of $83,000. It features solar panels, high efficiency equipment and Energy Star appliances.

“Finding and remaining in an affordable home is a challenge for far too many New Yorkers. For individuals who are chronically homeless or suffering from mental illness, it can be close to impossible,” said Judi Kende, VP and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “Herkimer Street’s new supportive housing will help residents remain housed for the long term. Whether through on-site counseling for residents, proximity to health services or resources for young adults to continue their education, Herkimer is providing its residents with the foundation and the necessary tools to live healthy, fulfilling lives.”

 

1) Ribbon Cutting

2) External view

3) Solar Panels - To reduce energy consumption and costs, there are two arrays of solar panels on the roof of Herkimer Street Residence.

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About The Bridge:
The Bridge is one of New York City’s leading nonprofit organizations in the behavioral health arena. It serves annually over 2,300 New Yorkers with serious mental illness, substance use disorders, and HIV/AIDS, including the homeless, veterans, and those involved in the criminal justice system. 

The Bridge offers a continuum of services including safe and affordable supportive housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment, vocational training, job placement and on-the-job support, horticulture training and urban farming, health care, and arts therapy.  Through these programs, Bridge clients are achieving and maintaining independent, productive lives in the community.  

About Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.:
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.  www.EnterpriseCommunity.com  or www.EnterpriseCommunity.org.