Boston Road to bring 154 units of supportive housing to the Bronx

Related items: NY1 News coverage of the Boston Road groundbreaking and Brenda Rosen’s interview in Next City.

Common Ground held a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday for one of the first NYC supportive housing residences to begin construction using NYS Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) capital funding.

The project, Boston Road, will bring 154 units of supportive housing to the Bronx. The residence will provide housing and services to a mix of low-income and formerly homeless individuals and seniors.

Dozens of friends and partners gathered on Wednesday to celebrate the start of construction. The event included a number of illustrious guest speakers, including NYS Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner Darryl Towns, former NYC Council Member Helen Foster and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Deputy Commissioner Eric Enderlin. Common Ground Executive Director Brenda Rosen served as the master of ceremonies for the late-morning event.

“This is a creative approach to dealing with an epidemic [of homelessness],” Ms. Foster said.  “Let this be an example of what we do going forth in the city.”

Speakers stressed the historic nature of the MRT funding and the pivotal role played by New Covenant Church and Community Board 3 in making this project become a reality.

“This project would not have existed without the support of Community Board 3,” said Common Ground Executive Director Brenda Rosen. “Your advocacy on behalf of Common Ground was absolutely instrumental to making 1191 Boston Road a reality.”

Boston Road is one of twelve new residences to begin construction thanks to $46.7 million in MRT capital funding for supportive and other special-needs housing. The residence is also part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing by the close of the 2014 fiscal year and the City and State’s joint commitment to create 9,000 new units of supportive housing over 10 years.

The total development cost for Boston Road is $47.7 million. HCR provided $23.9 million in bond financing and $1.6 million in 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The project also received $6.9 million in MRT funding, $8.2 million from HPD, $3.7 million from the NYS Office of Temporary Disability and Assistance (OTDA) and $2 million from Council Member Foster. RBC Capital Markets served as the tax credit syndicator on the project and JP Morgan Chase and the Chase Foundation provided the construction loan, equity and a $50,000 gift to support Boston Road tenant services.

On the services side, the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) will provide ongoing funding for tenants to have access to case managers and other social services. Services for the UnderServed will provide the on-site services at the residence.

Boston Road is designed by Alexander Gorlin Architects and being constructed by Mountco Construction and Development.

Common Ground would like to thank the many partners who contributed to the development of this project.