Bronx, NY – BRC–a leading nonprofit organization providing caring and effective services and housing to vulnerable New Yorkers—celebrated the opening of its Reaching New Heights Residence and The Apartments at Landing Road with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, reception and building tour on Tuesday, May 22 at 233 Landing Road in Bronx, NY. Reaching New Heights and The Apartments at Landing Road, designed by Edelman Sulton Knox Woods/Architects, LLP and constructed by J Pilla Group, are the pilot programs of BRC’s HomeStretch Housing – an innovative solution to provide affordable housing to extremely low income New Yorkers.
Key New York State and New York City officials, including New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Commissioner Samuel Roberts; New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen; New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), Department of Social Services (DSS) and Human Resources Administration (HRA) Commissioner Steven Banks, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Deputy Commissioner Molly Wasow Park, and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Eric Enderlin attended to celebrate this milestone.
“We’re proud to play a role in this development as supportive housing brings together housing and tailored services necessary for individuals to achieve better stability in their lives,” said Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts. “Congratulations to the Bowery Residents’ Committee and everyone else involved in constructing these much-needed apartments for individuals who have experienced homelessness.
“Landing Road is a game changer, giving residents a clear path from shelter to support to independence,” said Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “The unique approach we brought to Landing Road allows our partners at BRC to leverage funding streams for homeless services and double down by providing both shelter beds and supportive housing units in the same building.”
The event also celebrated a generous $2 million contribution to BRC’s The Way Home Fund by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) for the replication of HomeStretch Housing. JPMC also provided a $700,000 grant for the initial financing of Landing Road, equipping The Apartments at Landing Road with solar power panels produced and installed by Bright Power, Inc.
"We are grateful for the many partners and supporters here with us today who made this project, and the opportunities it creates, possible,” said Muzzy Rosenblatt, CEO and President of BRC. “We commend Mayor de Blasio and his administration for their vision to make innovative strategies like our HomeStretch project a reality, providing a new and innovative strategy to finance housing for people with limited incomes, and high quality and effective shelters for people in need. And now we will be able to replicate this strategy again and again, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of JPMorgan Chase & Co., and their institutional commitment to building equitable communities. Their gift, along with that of other philanthropic supporters, will support BRC's The Way Home Fund, to kick start the development of a pipeline of projects like the one we celebrate today."
“In New York City, rents continue to rise and for many low income New Yorkers, the pressures of the housing market limit the availability of and access to affordable housing. These pressures become real for individuals and families many who face the possibility of homelessness,” said Pamela (“PJ”) Dearden, Head of Culture and Conduct at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “At JPMorgan Chase, one of our core business principles is a commitment to strengthen the communities in which we live and work and to leverage our success to give back to those communities. Our investment in BRC strengthens communities in New York City by responding to the critical shortages of affordable and transitional housing. This innovative model will not only support vulnerable New Yorkers, but enable BRC and other mission-driven organizations to move from operator to owner.”
Made possible by the support and collaboration of numerous donors and city and state agencies, BRC’s HomeStretch Housing was initially conceptualized in 2013 as a first-of-its-kind housing and financial model that leverages traditional shelter revenue to finance the development and operation of housing for individuals making as low as $20,000 per year.
The Apartments at Landing Road is a 135-unit affordable housing program offering 111 fully-furnished studio apartments to single adults previously residing in New York City shelters for $470 per month; and 7 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom apartments to households earning 50- and 60 percent AMI, respectively, selected through the HPD housing lottery. The Apartments at Landing Road was financed with tax-exempt bonds from HDC; city capital funds from HPD and HDC; state capital funds under the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP); and four percent Low-Income Tax Credits syndicated by Red Stone Equity Partners with Capital One, N.A. as the lead investor.
“Many homeless households in New York City need help transitioning from shelters into permanent homes. The HomeStretch program creates a bridge connecting those families and individuals to a more stable future while creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income households," said Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. "I would like to thank our partners at DHS for collaborating with us to develop this housing model. I would also like to congratulate BRC and partners for making the dream of Landing Road come to fruition.”
“This innovative project demonstrates the profound impact we can have on reducing homelessness and creating a more equitable New York when working together,” said Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to our many public and private partners for their tremendous contributions to this transitional shelter and affordable housing development. My heartfelt congratulations go out to the individuals and families who will now have a pathway to greater stability thanks to their new homes at Landing Road.”
“Tackling affordable housing and homelessness in any city is going to take collaboration between public agencies and the private sector as well as bold ideas and innovative thinking,” said Desiree Francis, Vice President of Originations, Community Finance at Capital One. “New York is once again leading the way with a new model that tackles these issues simultaneously, creating new opportunities and possibilities for all New Yorkers. Capital One is proud to be a partner in bringing the Landing Road Residence to life and we look forward to seeing this innovative development’s residents thrive.”
Reaching New Heights Residence is a 200-bed shelter serving single adult men in need of job training and employment. The construction and operation of Reaching New Heights Residence is supported by a 30-year contract with DHS. Funds from the DHS contract for Reaching New Heights provides residual income that helps subsidize The Apartments at Landing Road. Permanent financing for Reaching New Heights was provided by the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), insured by the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), with Wespath Benefits and Investments (the pension plan of the United Methodist Church) as the investor.
“This innovative mixed-use site exemplifies how we are turning the tide on the citywide challenge of homelessness by transforming a haphazard shelter system that developed over decades into one that places people and community first,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “In partnership with not-for-profit social service provider BRC, we’re proud to provide New Yorkers in need with high-quality affordable and transitional housing opportunities alongside workforce development programs that will help employed and employable men experiencing homelessness get back on their feet and permanent apartments for formerly homeless individuals as well as community residents.”
“Homelessness is one of the most urgent housing and humanitarian issues facing our city today. As a nonprofit finance company that invests in housing that brings stability and opportunity to peoples’ lives, we believe it is essential to collaborate on projects like Landing Road that provide our most vulnerable citizens with a supportive environment where they can get their lives back on track,” said Rafael E. Cestero, President and CEO of CPC. “I thank BRC, the de Blasio Administration and all of our partners, and I look forward to continuing our work with the city to find innovative pathways to ending homelessness.”
All residents at The Apartments at Landing Road and Reaching New Heights Residence will have access to BRC’s Horizons Workforce Development program, the organization’s privately-funded employment services program that helps hundreds of BRC clients find and maintain employment at decent wages each year.
Construction financing was provided by Bank of America, Trinity Wall Street, The New York Pooled PRI Fund (NYPRI), SeaChange Capital Partners, and Contact Fund. Additional project funding was provided by the NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Program and the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation.
“We are proud to partner with BRC as part of Trinity’s efforts to address homelessness and lack of affordable housing in New York City,” said the Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Rector of Trinity Church Wall Street. “This innovative program is a model of shelter and supported housing, and a great example of how multiple partners can come together to provide the high-quality services our city so desperately needs.”
“The Contact Fund and the New York Pooled PRI Fund were established to help bring innovative nonprofit projects to fruition. Through these affiliated funds, we very pleased to have partnered with BRC and other funders to make Landing Road a reality,” said Mark Reed, a board member at SeaChange Capital Partners.
“This is a great day for BRC and even more so for the over 100 people who will have homes because of the innovative financing behind this project,” said Jennifer Trepinski, Director of Loan Originations at CSH. “Landing Road received a $500,000 CSH pre-development loan and a $5,100,000 New York City Acquisition Fund loan originated by CSH, because BRC is highly-regarded for addressing homelessness in NYC, and also we are attracted to the workforce development program they will offer residents with funding provided by our partners at the Robin Hood Foundation.”
“Deutsche Bank is proud to have supported BRC in its development of the innovative Landing Road project and believes the project can serve as a model for future efforts to address New York City’s homelessness crisis,” said John Kimble, Vice President of Philanthropic Initiatives at Deutsche Bank.
BRC is a leading nonprofit organization providing caring and effective services and housing to vulnerable New Yorkers, serving more than 10,000 individuals each year. As of April 2018, BRC operates 30 programs and services ranging from, outreach to the unsheltered homeless; transitional housing and shelter; permanent housing; substance abuse treatment; mental and physical health services; workforce development and senior services, throughout New York City.
Kinya P. Harte
Director of Communications