Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction is underway on a $67 million supportive and affordable housing project in the Bronx. The building being constructed, part of a larger mixed-use development known as La Central, will create 160 units of housing, including 97 supportive units for formerly homeless New Yorkers with special needs.

“This new development will provide quality homes and will support vulnerable Bronx residents in need allowing them to live independently and with dignity,” Governor Cuomo said. “By giving these individuals a roof over their head and a safe place to call home, we help create a stronger New York and a more vibrant Bronx for years to come.”

The La Central development will feature multiple buildings with mixed-income affordable housing, retail, community and recreation spaces, helping to revitalize the Melrose neighborhood in the South Bronx. Breaking Ground will develop the supportive housing component of La Central, while Comunilife will provide support services.

“Supportive housing brings together housing and tailored services necessary for veterans and those with health and mental health issues to achieve better stability in their lives,” Samuel D. Roberts, Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner, said. “The strong state commitment to projects like this are what have made New York a national leader in addressing homelessness.”

RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “HCR is thrilled to help bring 160 affordable and supportive apartments, retail, and recreation spaces to the South Bronx. This is part of the Governor’s commitment to aggressively address homelessness, increase access to safe, secure housing, and provide the support and the path to opportunity that people need. La Central will be a terrific example of the forward-thinking approach to housing and community development that is increasing the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout New York.”

“HPD is excited to celebrate the start of construction on this long-vacant site in the Bronx,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “This first phase of development will create 160 supportive homes for individuals in need. I want to thank Breaking Ground and Comunilife for their partnership and I look forward to welcoming new residents into their new homes.”

“At Breaking Ground, we believe everyone deserves a home and we are committed to assuring that every New York City community can be home to our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground. “La Central will stand as a model of what can be accomplished when public and private sectors collaborate and listen to community needs. We are thrilled to break ground on our new supportive residence in the South Bronx and play an important role in helping the Bronx to remain affordable for hard working New Yorkers as part of our community revitalization efforts now and well into the future.”

“Comunilife is so pleased to be partnering with Breaking Ground on the development of 97 new supportive apartments for some of our City’s most at-risk residents and thrilled to be part of today’s groundbreaking ceremony,” said Dr. Rosa M. Gil, President and CEO Comunilife, Inc. “When the building opens in two years the new residents will have beautiful new apartments in which to live and the on-site services they require to be active member of this community,”

The total development cost for the project is $67 million. The project is financed with several resources from HCR, as well as our State and local partners. New York State’s Housing Finance Agency is providing $31 million in tax-exempt bond financing towards the construction of the project. At project completion, permanent financing will consist of nearly $27 million of Low Income Housing Tax Credit generated from HFA’s tax credit allocation; $11.5 million from HCR’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program; $5.9 million from OTDA’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program; $12 million from the Supportive Housing Loan Program via the City of New York’s Department of Housing, Preservation and Development; and $230,000 from the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation. The project is also part of the newly launched Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. Additional capital funding came from Wells Fargo and the Corporation for Supportive Housing.

Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo said, “Providing a safe and stable place for our most vulnerable neighbors is critical to building up our community. With this new development, formerly homeless New Yorkers will have access to the resources they need to get themselves on track to a brighter, more successful future.”

Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. said, “The groundbreaking of this new supportive housing development right here in the Bronx will our community. By offering a safe and affordable place for families in need, we help strengthen our local economy and ensure the vibrancy of our neighborhoods for years to come.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “La Central is a standard-setting, groundbreaking mix of affordable housing and community amenities, like a new YMCA and a South Bronx extension for Bronxnet. I was proud to have provided this project with $1.5 million of my office’s capital funding. I thank Governor Cuomo and my partners in state government for investing in the future of our community and serving residents with a diverse set of incomes in one of the nation’s greenest developments- creating a safer and better neighborhood for all.”

“Wells Fargo is proud to be part of Breaking Ground and Comunilife’s La Central project that will provide affordable housing for formerly homeless and low-income New Yorkers,” said Alan Wiener, Managing Director of Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital. La Central is a model of affordable, sustainable development that will foster the transformation of the quality of life not just for its residents, but for the entire neighborhood. This project demonstrates what is possible when the public and private sectors come together to create affordable homes that not only serve our most vulnerable neighbors, but that adds significant value to the life of our great city.”

“La Central is an important investment in the community because it will address a pressing need to end homelessness for those suffering on our streets with disabilities exacerbated by HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions,” said Jennifer Trepinski, Senior Loan Officer for CSH in New York. “Breaking Ground has an excellent reputation for delivering quality supportive housing and the neighborhood as a whole will benefit as a result of the services Comunilife will provide. These factors are the basis for a unique decision on our part to award two pre-development loans totaling $1 million to move La Central forward.”

The building was designed by FXFOWLE Architects and MHG Architects. The general contractor is Monadnock Construction, Inc. The building will feature ultra-efficient fixtures and water-saving appliances, a green roof, and roof-mounted solar panels that will provide energy savings and reduce reliance on the area’s electrical grid. In addition, the building will include a 4,500 square foot accessory community facility space.

“The La Central development epitomizes the art of creative, sustainable and equitable city-building. Our design of Breaking Ground’s supportive housing building is a key part of La Central and embodies a powerful combination of civic ethos, sustainable strategies and thoughtful programing,” stated Senior Partner Dan Kaplan, FAIA, LEED AP. “The building will create an identity that is both forward-looking and rooted into the larger neighborhood. Most importantly, it creates a sense of place that speaks to the project’s mission of providing homes and fostering a thriving, healthy community.”

As part of the second phase of the Governor’s historic $20 billion five-year plan for the creation or preservation of 100,000 affordable and 6,000 supportive housing units, three State agencies have made available more than $650 million in capital funding and $30 million in service and operating funding for supportive housing. HCR, OTDA and the Office of Mental Health have each released Requests for Proposals to distribute these funds.

For more information on the RFPs, visit:


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