Plan for senior housing advances

Betances Houses

The city is moving ahead on a plan to create 250 new apartments for low-income seniors on the site of the Betances Houses in Mott Haven.

The New York City Housing Authority, Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Housing Development Corporation announced on Friday that they have selected two development teams to lead the project to build housing and provide social services for low- and- extremely-low income residents 62 and older, with NYCHA residents slated to receive preference.
One development at the The Betances Houses V site at East 142nd 143rd streets, between Willis and Brook Avenues, will include 149 new apartments, 45 of which will be set aside for formerly homeless seniors. The nonprofit Breaking Ground Housing Development Corp. will lead that project.

The development on the Betances VI site, at the corner of East 146th Street and Willis Avenue, will be headed by developers Lemle & Wolff Development Co., and Alembic Community Development, and The Bridge, a nonprofit. It will include 101 new apartments, 30 of which will be set aside for formerly homeless individuals and families.

The complex will offer amenities such as on-site medical and psychiatric care, gardens, libraries, solar paneling, and a community facility that will be run by the DreamYard Project, a Bronx-based arts nonprofit for teens and young adults.

The decision to build housing for low-income seniors stems from meetings and workshops held between 2013 and last year, as part of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiatives planning process. As a result of those meetings, Mott Haven residents created a Mott Haven Transformation Plan, in which they identified affordable housing for seniors as a key need.

As part of the Choice Neighborhoods planning process, local residents competed for federal funding with other low-income neighborhoods around the country to create housing and jobs in their communities. Although the local proposal was not among the winners nationally, the city decided to see the Mott Haven Transformation Plan through as part of Mayor de Blasio’s push to build and restore 200,000 affordable apartments in the next 10 years, as well as NextGeneration NYCHA,, the Housing Authority’s proposal to build housing on spaces it considers underutilized.