Apr 03, 2019
Comunilife, one of New York City’s leading not-for-profit organizations that develops supportive housing for people with special needs, today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a brand-new 89 unit supportive and affordable housing residence in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
The residence, named Woodhull Residence, is located at 179 Throop Avenue, in what used to be a parking lot on the campus of NYC Health + Hospital’s Woodhull Hospital. The building includes 54 studio apartments for formerly homeless adults with living special needs and 35 studio apartments for low-income community residents. Designed by architect Monica Lopez, the building meets Energy Green Communities standards.
Dr. Rosa M. Gil, Comunilife’s President and CEO said, “We believe that no one should be without the housing and support they need to lead a healthy and meaningful life. Our new 89-unit Woodhull Residence for 54 New Yorkers living with special needs and 35 low-income residents is the embodiment of this vision. Our goal is to work with the State, City and our development partners, to develop additional apartments for people most in need.”
The six-story building also features a community room and computer lab on the first floor, plus on-site case management and social services and 24-hour security. Funding for the $28.8 million project was provided by the NYS Homes and Community Renewal (the State’s affordable housing agency), NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Hudson Housing Capital, who provided the Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and JP Morgan Chase, are among other partners. The rental subsidies and service award are provided by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Following remarks and formal ribbon cutting by Dr. Gil, local elected officials and development partners, tours of the building and reception followed.
“I thank you all for having the vision to convert this parking lot into a place of new beginnings. We are very proud to celebrate here today, to give 89 individuals an opportunity to have a roof over the heads, no longer have to shiver in the night, wonder whether or not they’ll be safe, whether they’ll wake up next morning. This is what we do as human beings, we take care of each other,” said New York State Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul.
“The new Comunilife Woodhull Residence captures the City’s values,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “We want permanent housing for our residents experiencing homelessness; supportive housing for New Yorkers dealing with physical or mental health conditions; and connections to quality health care and insurance coverage for all. We are committed to these goals and to improving the health of communities across the city.”
“The Woodhull Residence marks another milestone in our effort to pursue a more assertive approach around the social determinants of health, especially housing,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “Housing can be a critical intervention to improve a patient’s health and transform their life. This, coupled with the ongoing support from Woodhull Hospital, MetroPlus, and Comunilife, will allow our patients and the residents here to thrive. I would like to thank Comunilife, our city and state partners, and MetroPlus for their dedication to seeing this project come to fruition.”
Gregory Calliste, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, expresses his gratitude: for this Comunilife Housing Project at Woodhull which will provide permanent housing relief to 89 mental health and low income residents of the Woodhull community; to Comunilife as our trusted partner and sponsor of this important project that has been completed on schedule and on-budget; to NYC Health + Hospitals and the City of New York for fully supporting this initiative; Woodhull Hospital community for embracing and supporting this project. Housing is critical for one’s stability, and this project will help 89 residents and their families in achieving stability, security and independence. Thanks you to all who made this possible.
City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (District 36) said: “This is what the intersection between government, community and stake holders look like. I was able to help allocate resources to continue the idea that there are opportunities to eradicate homelessness, within our grasp. This is something we can do and an replicate.”
“We live in the greatest city in the word, but we are a better and greater city when we take care of those who are not as fortunate as we are. With projects like this we are not only making those people justice – because housing is a human right – but we are also empowering our city and empowering ourselves, and telling everybody that it is our responsibility to take care of those people who need it the most,” said City Member Mathieu Eugene (Disctrict 40)
City Council Member Steve Levin (District 33) said: “Projects like this happen when people are committed to a vision that is connected to the needs in our communities. Comunilife has been in this community for a long time and knows what is needed to help stabilize lives. It takes vision, persistence, expertise and partnerships.”
Acting NYC HPD Commissioner Eric Enderlin said “This development represents the three major ideas in the City’s housing plan: first, we made a lot of effort to bring community development to those places where development should happen, but hasn’t been able to happen before; the second is NYC’s 15-15 Program – the commitment to do 15,000 units of supportive housing over 15 years; and to recognize the intersection between help and health, which is so incredibly important.”
HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The Woodhull Residence is another concrete example of Governor Cuomo’s strong commitment to aggressively expand affordable and supportive housing opportunities in Brooklyn and across the State, while creating vibrant neighborhoods and strong local economies. The Woodhull Residence will truly transform the lives of all 89 residents. I am proud to join our many public and private sector partners who combined their dedication and expertise to bring this development to fruition.”
Also present in today’s ribbon cutting ceremony were the projects partners including representatives from JP Morgan Chase, Hudson Housing Capital, CSH, Metroplus, Comunilife’s Board of Directors, among others.
With the opening today of the Woodhull Residence, Comunilife now provides 1,992 units of supporting and affordable housing units citywide.