A former Far Rockaway gas station is being converted into affordable homes for New York’s senior citizens.
Mayor Bill de Blasio last week helped Arker Companies break ground on what is the first project under the City’s new $350 million program to finance affordable housing especially for low-income seniors.
When it’s finished in 2017, Beach Channel Senior Apartments in Far Rockaway, Queens will provide 154 homes for low-income seniors, including 46 for formerly homeless seniors.
The seven-story, mixed-use development will be 100 percent affordable when completed in 2017.
“Our seniors helped build our neighborhoods through thick and thin, and we are fighting to make sure they can stay in the communities they love. Beach Channel is the first of many projects we’re undertaking to build and protect affordable homes for our seniors, and make sure this remains a city for everyone. We are so grateful to all our partners who helped bring this development forward,” said de Blasio.
The city’s new $350 million program is part of the Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan.
The Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) Program will enable the Beach Channel project to serve seniors with little to no income, with residents earning less than $36,300 per year.
The city intends to build and preserve 10,000 apartments affordable to seniors over the next 10 years.
According to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, seniors represent one of the fastest-growing populations in New York City.
“These affordable homes, supplemented by essential supportive services, will empower seniors to age in place with dignity and independenc,” said Mark-Viverito.
Financing for the project was completed in June, adding the Far Rockaway apartments to the 20,326 units the de Blasio administration closed in fiscal year 2015 – the highest total in more than 25 years.
Residents will be referred by the New York City Housing Authority and the Department of Homeless Services. The availability of Project-based Section 8 through NYHCA enables the development to reach especially low-income households.
Senior services will be provided to residents of the development by the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation.
Created to facilitate independent living for seniors, Beach Channel is adjacent to new residential and commercial development at nearby Arverne East, one block away from a shopping center and super market, and accessible by train.
According to HPD Commissioner Vicki Been, HPD and HDC has spent the past year developing programs that will increase production of housing for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
“It is rewarding to see the fruits of that labor realized in projects like Beach Channel. I want to thank the Arker Companies, Wells Fargo, and our sister city agencies for their partnership in building a more equitable and inclusive New York.”
Daniel Moritz, principal of The Arker Companies, joined Mayor de Blasio at the ground breaking alsong with Alan Wiener, managing director of Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital, which prvided a letter of credit for construction financing.
HPD is providing $11.5 million in City Capital funds and HDC provided $38.5 million in tax-exempt bonds for the construction financing and $8.47 million in subsidy under ELLA. The project