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The Office of the Governor of the State of New York

04/30/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/30/2019 10:54

Governor Cuomo Announces Opening Of $31 Million Mixed-Use Development In Brooklyn

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments, a $31 million mixed-use affordable housing development in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The project converted an historic former convent into 76 affordable homes and over 8,000 square feet of community space that will provide workforce development and homelessness prevention services, with 12 apartments set aside for formerly homeless individuals.

'Every New Yorker deserves a place to call home, and with the opening of developments like Our Lady of Lourdes we are combating homelessness and providing crucial services to those who need it most,' Governor Cuomo said. 'With continued investments like this in neighborhoods across the state, we can ensure our most vulnerable neighbors are given more than just a home, but a chance to grow and thrive.'

'The Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments are not just an affordable housing development, they are an investment in the people of Brooklyn,' said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement. 'Projects like these focus on neighborhoods of need where for too long people felt neglected. Now residents have a new sense of confidence knowing they have a stable home and a roof over their head. This significant project expands the availability of housing, provides essential community services, and advances our commitment to address homelessness. Here in New York we take care of each other, and today is a manifestation of that commitment.'

The development is comprised of three buildings, including an historic four-story brick building at 11 De Sales Place with 14 apartments. The building was the original Our Lady of Lourdes' rectory built in 1898 and rehabilitation work preserved the Neo-Italian Renaissance Revival design.

A six-story addition at 21 De Sales Place with 44 apartments features over 8,000 square feet of community space that will house RiseBoro Community Partnership's Empowerment division offices which will provide community services, including the Level Up workforce development program, financial literacy, homelessness prevention, legal services, and public benefits enrollment. The building's lower level includes a healthy eating demonstration kitchen and training facilities for both lecture-based and hands-on education that will be open to the public. These facilities will provide the expertise and framework necessary to bridge the gap between training services and employment.

A new eight-story building at 1875 Broadway with 18 apartments completes the development. Each building includes a community room, laundry facilities and bike storage. The development complex also includes a library/computer lab, outdoor recreation areas, and roof gardens. Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments was co-developed by RiseBoro Community Partnership and Georgia Green Ventures.

Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments were designed to meet passive house building standards. Energy efficient and clean energy features include passive house rated windows, energy recovery ventilation, advanced water metering, solar PV panels, and an air source heat pump for heating and cooling.

Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments builds on Governor Cuomo's Vital Brooklyn initiative, which is deploying $1.4 billion in state resources to create healthier, more vibrant Central Brooklyn communities. The Vital Brooklyn initiative will create 4,000 affordable homes in Central Brooklyn with supportive services. As part of Vital Brooklyn, NYSERDA has partnered with RiseBoro Community Partnership, committing more than $300,000 to develop and train property managers and maintenance staff in energy efficiency and passive house practices and assist in offsetting costs for energy efficient improvements for RiseBoro Community Partnership buildings. These trainings and cost assistance are expected to improve the health and comfort of residents at Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments.

The Governor's commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the State's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing and community development. Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments complements these efforts by creating affordable homes and providing resources to the community to prevent homelessness.

State financing for the development included federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $15 million in equity and $1.3 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. NYSERDA provided $76,000. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development provided $3.6 million and New York City Councilmember Rafael Espinal and Borough President Eric Adams provided a $2.5 million award. Additional financing was provided by Greystone and Bank of America.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, 'Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments pairs 76 affordable homes with community services that will benefit the entire neighborhood while also preserving the beautiful architecture of the historic rectory. This type of private and public partnership exemplifies Governor Cuomo's commitment to revitalizing neighborhoods, combatting homelessness and ensuring a brighter future for all New Yorkers.'

NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said, 'Today's announcement represents the valuable work continuing to be accomplished through the leadership of Governor Cuomo to ensure a just transition to a clean energy future. Pairing energy efficient and affordable housing with workforce development and support services provides residents with safety and security while advancing cleaner, greener and healthier communities for the benefit of all New Yorkers.'

Acting Commissioner Eric Enderlin, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said, 'This transformative project breathes new life into a long-abandoned church that will once again serve as an anchor for the neighborhood. Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments repurposes this building's historic architecture to create 76 deeply affordable homes -12 of which will house families who have struggled with homelessness - as well as community space that will provide programming for local residents. A special thanks to our colleagues at the City and State, as well as our partners at Riseboro Community Partnership and Georgica Green Ventures for their vision and dedication to delivering this one-of-a-kind project to the Bushwick community.'

Scott Short, CEO, RiseBoro Community Partnership said, 'RiseBoro is proud to be delivering on the promise of 76 units of deeply affordable housing with integrated homeless prevention services at Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments. This project addresses one of the most complex problems facing our City with a multi-faceted solution. It is a shining example of what can be accomplished when agencies and organizations across the City and State join forces toward a common goal.'

Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said, 'This building is the result of an effective partnership between City and State agencies, the private sector and our dedicated service providers with the common goal of helping the most vulnerable New Yorkers. With affordable housing, including units specifically reserved for previously homeless veterans, and homeless prevention services through Homebase and our legal assistance program that will allow more people to remain in their homes and neighborhoods, this site is a prime example of the Administration's concerted effort to build a just and equitable city for generations to come.'

Dave Gallo, President, Georgica Green Ventures, LLC, said, 'Georgica Green Ventures, LLC is thrilled to have worked with the Brooklyn Diocese, NYS HCR & HTF, NYC HPD, and Bank of America as well as our partner RiseBoro Community Partnership. It took a true team effort to preserve this beautiful historic rectory and add additional units that will serve the community for years to come.'

Senator Julia Salazar said, 'There is an urgent need for deeply affordable housing in Bushwick. It's wonderful to see the opening of this long-awaited development, including housing specifically for our formerly homeless neighbors and services to prevent homelessness in our communities. I hope to see more partnerships like this that use our resources to lift up our neighbors who need it most.'

Assembly Member Latrice Walker said, 'The housing crisis impacts all New Yorkers. Regardless of an individual's situation, everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. These housing units are yet another win for Brooklynites, helping those who have fallen on hard times get back on their feet and thrive in the community they know and love.'

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, 'As we open the doors to Our Lady of Lourdes Apartments, we open the doors to new opportunities for scores of Brooklynites to affordably thrive in a safe, healthy, and proactively supportive community. I'm proud that one of the first capital allocations my administration made was a $500,000 grant to this new mixed-use affordable housing project in Bushwick, a project that builds upon the vision of my Faith-Based Development Initiative to maximize the affordable housing potential of underutilized faith-based sites. Thanks to the coalition of public, private, and non-profit partners whose commitment to this development made it possible to open these doors today.'

New York City Councilmember Rafael Espinal, Jr. said, 'The affordable housing crisis is real and neighborhoods like Bushwick are especially suffering. Thanks to the work of all involved this community will now have facilities which provide a comprehensive approach for community building, healthy living, and training resources. It's also great to be able to repurpose such a historic landmark into something that will meet the ever-changing needs of this community.'