The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) joins NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) today to announce plans to build approximately 195 deeply affordable homes for seniors in the neighborhood of Morrisania Bronx. The Sol on Park development will give rise to a 15-story mixed-use building paired with a new community health center, a nutrition education facility, and a career-training spaces accessible to residents and the community at-large.
“As we try to make New York City healthier, greener, more affordable, and more prosperous, we need projects like this one that do everything at the same time,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “We are creating homes for hundreds of Bronxites and New Yorkers, and we are doing it the right way — with access to the economic opportunity and health resources we all need.”
“Seniors are the heart and soul of our communities and Sol on Park exemplifies the highest quality of housing and support we ought to provide seniors to age in place with dignity and comfort,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “With new facilities for healthcare, nutrition, and career training, Sol on Park allows us to invest in the entire neighborhood’s health and future well-being while bringing much needed affordable homes to the Morrisania neighborhood. Thank you to our development partners NRP Group, Selfhelp, and Foxy Management for such a creative and holistic plan. Congratulations!”
“NYCHA is committed to ensuring that the population of older New Yorkers who enrich our neighborhoods are able to thrive here, and we will continue to use our underutilized assets in support of this goal,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “We are excited to assist HPD, HDC, and the development team assembled to bring the Sol on Park project to fruition – and look forward to realizing this exciting new model for safe and affordable senior housing.”
“In addition to 195 deeply affordable homes, the sustainably designed Sol on Park will offer educational and wellness services to support our senior residents and the surrounding community,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Congratulations to the development team and thank you to all of our partners for their ongoing efforts to create a healthier, more affordable city for all New Yorkers.”
Council Member Althea Stevens said, “I am excited about the introduction of the new development planning to enter the Morrisania community. It is important that we are investing in our older adult population to ensure healthier and equitable accessibility in their daily lives. Also, this development will serve vital assent in the progress in establishing more opportunities for permanent housing, rather than temporary housing.”
“The NRP Group has always strived to deliver high-quality “healthy housing” developments that put betterment and wellbeing at the center of apartment living,”said NRP Group Senior Vice President Jonathan Gertman.“That is why we are so pleased to join with our team members, along with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Authority, to bring Sol on Park to life. Located on the Morris Houses campus, Sol on Park will deliver critical wrap-around services that enable senior residents – and community members of all ages – to fulfill their highest potential. This special development will feature 195 beautifully designed apartment homes activated with premium healthcare services, health and wellness amenities, workforce training and job placement, and other life affirming services. It will be a launch pad for personal and community development, economic revitalization, and pathways of opportunity and hope.”
A development team comprised of NRP Group, Selfhelp Realty Group, and Foxy Management was selected to construct Site 1 of the Seniors First Kingsborough and Morris Houses RFP located at the corner of St. Paul’s Place and Park Avenue within the Morris II public housing development in Morrisania Bronx. Sol on Park employs a health-centric design and a robust social services model for senior households earning up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or approximately $41,800 annually for a single occupant. All households will receive project-based Section 8 vouchers, with a portion of homes set aside for both NYCHA residents and seniors experiencing homelessness. Social services for the seniors will be provided by Selfhelp’s Active Services for Aging Model (SHASAM), helping residents to manage chronic health issues, aging, and providing culturally competent health programming.
The project is part of the City’s Seniors First initiative to develop and preserve senior housing on NYCHA land and support the growth of New York’s aging population. NYCHA staff met with residents and resident leaders of Morris Houses in 2019 to inform the developments plans which honor residents’ preferences for senior affordable housing designed to support healthcare services, outdoor activities, nutrition, jobs, and amenities that serve seniors.
“Housing is health; health is housing”
The development team gave the project the theme “housing is health; health is housing,” speaking to its design and features that promote healthy living and healthy lifestyles. NYCHA and HPD sought community input to determine the development’s public-facing facilities and partnered with highly regarded local organizations on utilizing 11,500 square feet of space for new community resources including new healthcare, nutrition, and career training facilities.
- The Union Community Health Center, delivering a combination of primary care, dental services, behavioral health services, physical and occupational therapy and will include career fellowship programs in healthcare, dental care, and health administration.
- The Green Bronx Machine’s National Health & Wellness Center to bring urban agriculture and nutritional education programming dedicated to youth and intergenerational engagement.
- The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center to focus on adult education and training for careers in healthcare and technology, helping to grow the area’s healthcare workforce and career development opportunities.
- Selfhelp’s Home Care Program and Training Center for Home Health Aides to prepare community members for careers in at-home care.
Magnusson Architecture and Planning brought to life the development’s health-focused design. The new apartments allow for natural light and ventilation while creating a sense of eyes on the streets and connection to the community. Additionally, the homes are designed to have distinct spaces for cooking, dining, socializing, and sleeping. Cascading roof terraces, multiple floors of community space, a large pedestrian plaza and a shared walkway with the adjacent NYCHA campus will top off the development’s dynamic design.
Sol on Park is also designed to achieve a LEED Platinum Rating for sustainable design, an ENERGY STAR certification for emitting fewer greenhouse gases, and the highest rating from Fitwel, which sets global standards for the building design and development practices in support of healthier and equitable access to a higher quality of life.
“Selfhelp Realty Group is extremely proud to be partnering with NRP Group and Foxy Management to expand the availability of affordable housing for seniors, NYCHA residents, and formerly homeless individuals in Morrisania,” said Selfhelp Community Services CEO Stuart C. Kaplan. “For decades, Selfhelp has been building affordable housing and offering services through its recognized service model, SHASAM (Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model). We’re honored to further our partnership with HPD, NYCHA and HDC and to join with our partners to promote health and wellness, education, and career development for the community. Selfhelp will expand its Home Care Training Program to Sol on Park, providing new employment opportunities for the community.”
“The need for affordable senior housing is tremendous and is getting more dire as the senior population is expected to triple, costs of living continue to rise, and the aging housing stock in our city is less and less accessible to our most vulnerable residents,” said Foxy Management Principle Jeff Fox. “Sol on Park will address this need head-on, in part by creating a health-centric senior community that will serve as an anchor for a better future. Foxy is dedicated to the communities it serves and particularly to developing senior communities where older adults may thrive and live in dignity. We are thrilled to work with NRP, Selfhelp and MAP to bring the proposal to life.”
“For Magnusson Architecture & Planning, aging in place with dignity is an essential theme of Sol on Park, driving a design process that went from the inside out,” said Magnusson Architecture & Planning Director of Planning and Urban Design Brian Loughlin. “Turning the floor plates 45-degrees will yield light-filled apartments with multiple exposures and alcoves for more livable spaces. An emphasis on indoor air quality, healthy materials, access to the outdoors and shared amenity spaces, will bolster both mental and physical health. Opportunities for socialization and connections to neighbors continue through thoughtful urban design. The building’s site placement, terraced massing, and pedestrian-friendly open spaces preserve light and air between the nearby structures and make the development’s health-focused community programming easily accessible to residents of the surrounding area.”
“One of the largest and most trusted community health centers in New York, UNION has been providing continuous healthcare services to Bronx residents for over 100 years. We are excited about our partnership with HPD, NYCHA, HDC and even more so for the seniors of Sol on Park and the Morrisania community,” said Dr. Douglas L. York, President and CEO of Union Community Health Center. “Our commitment to the Sol on Park senior residence and wellness center will further allow us to respond to the social determinants of health our community faces daily and extend our mission to reach those most in need of quality healthcare and specialty services.”
“This is what commUNITY looks like!” says Stephen Ritz, Founder of Green Bronx Machine. “At Green Bronx Machine, intergenerational programming has been at the heart of our award-winning work and curriculum. This partnership allows our children to take their knowledge, passion, purpose, and hope and work together with the eyes, ears, and gatekeepers of our community, to inspire healthy living, healthy learning, combat climate change and grow something greater while systemically addressing our most pressing needs; a wholly virtuous cycle. With our national headquarters in Claremont Village, we could not be prouder to be part of this brilliant team.”
“The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center is excited to partner on this project to provide adult education and workforce development to support this housing development,” said SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center Executive Director/CEO Ronnie Hector. “While housing remains a crucial concern for New Yorkers, it is refreshing to see that a developer comprehensively understands the need to partner with local institutions to support community upliftment and upward mobility. The SUNY Bronx EOC is delighted to be a part of this creative and innovative way of housing and community development. The SUNY Bronx EOC will provide entry-level allied health training along with GED, college preparation and Microsoft office specialist training in support of the community residence economic and social upward mobility.”
“Today’s announcement is a huge win and a step forward towards ensuring our older New Yorkers have access to safe, quality, affordable housing in our borough. Our seniors are the pioneers and trailblazers that paved the way for us to be here and they deserve housing that addresses their unique needs,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson “I want to congratulate The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Authority, the NYC Housing Development Corporation, NRP Group, Selfhelp Realty Group, and Foxy Management for their work on this important mixed-use housing development. The partnerships with The Union Community Health Center, The Green Bronx Machine’s National Health & Wellness Center, The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center, and Selfhelp’s Home Care Program and Training Center for Home Health Aides brings important amenities to this project that address health and wellness, holistic care and wraparound services for our older adults.”
“This 15-story affordable housing project will take advantage of an underused lot in Morris Houses and provide low-income seniors in my district with a much-needed affordable place to live. Further, these residents will have access to a one-of-a-kind community health center that will offer them a variety of resources and services that will help them lead a healthier lifestyle,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I want to thank all public and private partners including trusted Bronx health institutions such as UCHC and The Green Bronx Machine for creating this unique model that will increase access to affordable housing while integrating access to healthy activities in my district.”
“As was made clear by a survey our office recently administered, people in the Bronx desperately want to see increases in the borough’s stock of affordable housing, health services, and resources for seniors,” said Assemblymember Chantel Jackson. “With these goals in mind, I am excited by the HPD’s decisions to construct a new affordable development in the Morrisania area that will prioritize the needs of seniors and host multiple community health centers.”
“Providing our seniors with decent and affordable housing is essential,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “This development is a model for affordable housing that provides residents with the resources that holistically invests in the health and success of our communities. I look forward to the completion of Sol on Park to ensure the seniors in our borough get the support they deserve.”