Diocesan News

Senior Housing Complex Opens In Howard Beach

Peter Striano cuts the ribbon marking the opening of the senior housing in Howard Beach named in his honor. He was joined by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, leaders of Catholic Charities and government officials who teamed up to make the project possible.
Peter Striano cuts the ribbon marking the opening of the senior housing in Howard Beach named in his honor. He was joined by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, leaders of Catholic Charities and government officials who teamed up to make the project possible.

Ninety-six units of affordable housing for senior citizens and persons with developmental disabilities are now open in Howard Beach, thanks to the efforts of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens and several state and city agencies that partnered with them.

The building on Cross Bay Boulevard near the Belt Parkway entrance, which once served as a hospital, was dedicated Dec. 4 as Catholic Charities Peter J. Striano Residence.

The site features an integrated approach to living with on-site social services, disaster case management services, Citymeals-on-wheel delivery service and an on-site senior center, available for not just the residents but also the larger community.

The residence was named for Peter J. Striano, chairman and CEO of Unity International Group, a long-time member of the board of trustees of Catholic Charities and a corporate leader at the annual Bishop’s Humanitarian Award Dinner. Over the years, Striano has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the work of Catholic Charities.

A native Brooklynite, he has made community revitalization efforts and charitable giving an important priority in his life.

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For more than a decade, he has hosted and sponsored the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Memorial Golf Classic, which raises funds to support Catholic Charities and its more than 160 human service programs. In 2010, Striano was honored with the Bishop Sullivan Corporate Ministry Award at the Bishop’s Humanitarian Award Dinner.

The Striano Residence was developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. For every dollar invested by New York City for affordable housing, the NHMP has leveraged $3.48 in additional funding for a total investment of more than $23.6 billion. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of more than 156,769 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs.

Among those attending the dedication and ribbon-cutting were Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio; Robert Siebel, executive director of Catholic Charities; Msgr. Alfred LoPinto, the vicar for human services; the facility’s namesake and his wife, Caroline.

“This project truly allows us all to uphold our commitment to providing older adults with the highest quality housing right in their own neighborhoods, while at the same time integrating an on-site senior center and services for persons with developmental disabilities,” said Siebel.

At least 80 percent of the units at the Striano Residence are studio or one-bedroom apartments reserved for low-to-moderate income senior citizens over the age of 55. The other 20 percent are one-to-two bedroom apartments reserved for individuals supported by the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities.

Along with the apartments, the residence includes a well-lit lobby with large windows, community room, pool table room, computer room, art room and community kitchen. Each floor is decorated with a specific theme, including the beach, flowers and the park. The senior center will also incorporate wellness, education and fitness classes and other programming geared toward older adults.

Gladys Huertas, one of the pioneer residents of the complex.
Gladys Huertas, one of the pioneer residents of the complex.
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