Charities Will Sponsor Howard Beach Housing

Catholic Charities’ Progress of Peoples Development Corporation (CCPOP), the affordable housing development division of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ), has announced it has closed on $31 million in financing to develop Howard Beach Senior Apartments, which will offer 96 units of affordable housing to seniors and persons with developmental disabilities.

In 2009, CCPOP was chosen by New York State to buy and develop the former Bernard Fineson Developmental Disabilities Senior Office site in Howard Beach, into low-and moderate-income housing. The rehabilitated project will be made more accessible for seniors, and the beautified grounds will give new life to a highly visible section of Howard Beach. In an area that is experiencing a significant increase in its aging population, this project will address the need for quality, affordable and supportive housing for the elderly.

At least 80% of the units at the Howard Beach Apartments will be studio or one-bedroom apartments for low-to-moderate income senior citizens over the age of 60, with a preference for current residents of Community Board 10. Twenty percent of the units will be one-to-two bedroom apartments reserved for individuals supported by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD). These apartments are certified as supervised Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs), serving individuals currently residing in a nursing home or seeking to avoid nursing home placement, and/or serving individuals who need an alternative to their current living arrangement. The apartments will also offer aging parents the opportunity to live in the same location and/or share an apartment with their child, who is an individual supported by OMRDD.

“We believe that everyone deserves an affordable, safe home – housing shouldn’t be a luxury,” says, Robert Siebel, chief executive officer, CCBQ. “By giving seniors and persons with developmental disabilities in Howard Beach access to affordable housing and a wide range of much-needed social services, we are preserving the dignity of the people we serve, which is central to our agency’s mission.

“It is important to note that this project could not have successfully moved forward without the effectual funding package provided by New York State Housing and Community Renewal (HCR), New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA), City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY), and Morgan Stanley.”

Local legislators are also key partners, helping to move this project along and awarding $3.5 million in discretionary funding: City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn provided $1.5 million; and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Council member Eric Ulrich each contributed $1 million. Additional supporters of this project are Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), and State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo.