Comunilife and NYC Health + Hospitals Break Ground on Building to Provide Supportive and Affordable Housing in Brooklyn

With a strong presence of elected officials, funders, and other partners, Comunilife and NYC Health + Hospitals broke ground today on tahe construction of a new six-story, 53,200-square-foot community residence building. The $28 million construction project on the campus of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull—at 179 Throop Avenue—will provide 89 units of supportive and affordable housing.

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 supportive services will be funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In addition to developing and managing the property, Comunilife will serve as on-site social service provider.

“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.”

“When completed, Comunilife’s new Woodhull Residence will be home to 89 low-income New Yorkers, including 54 residents living with special needs,” said Rosa M. Gil, DSW, Comunilife President and CEO. “This project has been a dream for many years. It transforms how we provide affordable and supportive housing to our community’s most vulnerable and serves as a model to address the most basic and powerful social determinant of health, housing. By partnering with NYC Health + Hospital/Woodhull, as well as New York State and New York City agencies, we will truly be able to meet the independent housing, social service, and health care needs under one roof.”

“The Comunilife Woodhull Residence demonstrates what can be accomplished through true government and community partnerships,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “Health does not happen within the four walls of a doctor’s office, it happens foremost at home. These supportive housing units will go a long way to helping the residents who live here be their healthiest selves. They are another step forward in accomplishing this administration’s vision towards a better and fairer New York City.”

“I commend all of the community partners, city and state agencies in working collaboratively on this important project” said Assemblywoman Maritza Davila. “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. “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.”

“Congratulations to NYC Health + Hospitals, Woodhull, Comunilife, and the other community partners that came together to make this project a reality,” said ‎Assemblymember Tremaine Wright. “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.”

“I want to commend the leadership of NYC Health + Hospitals, Comunilife, and the numerous organizations who have worked together to make this residence a reality,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “As an elected official, it is a priority to ensure that affordable housing is available to those who require it. The construction of this facility reinforces our commitment as a city to providing safe living conditions for low-income residents and those with health concerns who do not have permanent housing. I am confident that the Comunilife Woodhull Residence will serve as a model for future housing facilities in New York City.”

“I would like to congratulate Comunilife and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull for their incredible endeavor,” said City Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “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. I am so proud to have worked with Comunilife and Woodhull in my capacity as a Council Member and North Brooklyn resident. I truly value the work they do for my constituents to keep our communities healthy.”

“This development will have the power to transform lives,” said New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “It is another concrete example of Governor Cuomo’s strong commitment to aggressively expand affordable and supportive housing opportunities across the state. I am proud to join our fellow partners in the public and private sectors who combined their dedication and expertise on behalf of the 89 residents who will call Comunilife Woodhull their home.”

“The Woodhull Community Residence will not only provide much-needed affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers, but it will also connect residents with the critical healthcare and supportive services they need to thrive,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank our development partners at Comunilife and NYC Health + Hospitals for their compassionate work helping New Yorkers in need, as well as the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene and the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal for making this project possible.”

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 approximately 18 months. Monica Lopez Architects, has been selected as the project architect, and Mega Contracting will provide general contracting services.


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