Local elected officials joined with the nonprofit Comunilife and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull officials today to break ground on the construction of a new six-story, 53,200-square-foot community residence building.
The $28 million construction project on the city hospital campus will provide 89 units of supportive and affordable housing. Woodhull Hospital, 179 Throop Avenue, is on the Bedford-Stuyvesant side of where the neighborhood meets up with Williamsburg and Bushwick.
“This facility will be great for the future residents with special needs, for the other new residents who would otherwise be severely rent burdened, for our health system since it helps us provide more care in the most appropriate setting, and for the community as a welcome new engine for commerce,” said Stanley Brezenoff, Interim President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “We’re happy to play a part in making this happen.”
All 89 studio units will have their own kitchenettes and bathrooms. Fifty-four will be set aside for supportive housing—for patients of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull who have behavioral health issues, are eligible for medical discharge, but do not have permanent housing to which to be released. The other 35 units will be available to individuals whose income is at or below 60 percent of the “area median income,” or, currently, $22,207 (which is 60 percent of $37,011).
Funding partners on the project include New York State Homes and Community Renewal (public subsidy), New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (public subsidy), Hudson Housing Capital (as syndicator for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity), Sterling National Bank (investor and private debt lender), Chase (private debt lender), and New York State Energy Research and Development (additional grant funding).
The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will provide supportive services. In addition to developing and managing the property, Comunilife will serve as on-site social service provider.
“I commend all of the community partners, city and state agencies in working collaboratively on this important project” said Assemblywoman Maritza Davila (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg). “The need for supportive and affordable housing in Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant is at an all-time high, and Comunilife’s new Woodhull Residence will serve as a gateway for the resources and opportunities for at-risk community members.”
“In this day and age, many New Yorkers require wraparound services to live their daily lives,” said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-Williamsburg, Greenpoint). “This new center will not only be affordable, but will also provide much-needed social services. I congratulate Comunilife and NYC Health + Hospitals for recognizing the importance of supportive and affordable housing to Brooklyn. This new facility will hopefully lead the way for other similar projects throughout New York City.”
“This collaborative effort demonstrates our community’s commitment to providing safe, quality affordable housing for our low-income neighbors, including those who require supportive services in order to enjoy independent living. Our community is happy to have Comunilife and Woodhull as partners in our affordable housing efforts,” said Assemblymember Tremaine Wright (D-Bed-Stuy, Northern Crown Heights).
“I would like to congratulate Comunilife and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull for their incredible endeavor,” said City Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick). “This project comes from a real need for affordable housing but also from a deep commitment to serve New Yorkers with special mental health needs. It will take into consideration recently released psychiatric patients from Woodhull, and because of the site’s proximity to the hospital, I know that their integration would be seamless—having those resources just a few feet away.
In addition to the residential space, the building will include a multi-purpose community room, a community kitchen, a laundry room, bike storage, and a computer room. A social services office suite will include three private offices, a conference room, and open-work stations. The property will feature a 2,400-square-foot landscaped backyard, as well as a 2,300-square-foot front yard along Park and Throop Avenues.
Construction is estimated to take about 18 months.