Gov. Kathy Hochul today announced construction has begun on Baez Place, an $86 million affordable housing development in the Claremont neighborhood of the Bronx. Baez Place will provide 154 affordable housing, including 86 with on-site support services for people affected by homelessness.
“We are tackling housing insecurity and homelessness head-on with this project, which will provide New Yorkers with quality, affordable housing,” said Governor Hochul. “This development at Baez Place in the Bronx will enhance the entire community with more than 150 housing units and comprehensive services for seniors and those affected by homelessness, the latest effort of our $25 billion Housing Opportunity Plan and to provide families with a safe, stable home.”
Baez Place is part of Governor Hochul’s far-reaching plans to make housing more affordable, equitable and stable. In the state budget for fiscal 2023, the governor introduced and successfully secured a new five-year, $25 billion comprehensive housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or maintaining 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.
Baez Place consists of 105 studios, 21 one bedroom apartments, 22 two bedroom apartments and six three bedroom apartments. The apartments will be affordable for households with an income between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income.
Supportive services and rent subsidies are funded through an award from the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health.
Community Access Inc., also the developer of the project, will provide on-site social services that include individual counseling, support groups, structured group activities, harm reduction services, liaisons with community mental health and health care providers, medication administration assistance, and employment services.
Additional services focused on older tenants include individual support and linkages to services through a dedicated Senior Advocate, as well as on-site primary care services provided by a doctor or nurse contracted with Community Access.
Residential facilities at Baez Place include a common room with a commercial kitchen, computer room, laundry room, exercise room, and 24-hour front desk. Each apartment is equipped with free broadband internet access. In the outdoor green space and in a greenhouse on the top floor of the building, residents have the opportunity to participate in urban agriculture.
The neighborhood in the immediate vicinity of the development offers a diverse mix of park and recreation areas, places of worship, health facilities, schools and various restaurants. The campus borders Richman (Echo) Park to the north and is close to the MTA bus stops, the B and D subway stations and the Tremont station on the Metro North Harlem Line.
Federal funding for the Baez Place Apartments includes $17.6 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, Federal Low Income Tax Credits that will generate $38.7 million in equity, and $12 million in grants from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is providing $7 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program.
RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner for Home and Community Renewal, said: “Baez Place continues our commitment to increase the supply of affordable housing in the Bronx by adding 154 apartments in a building designed to provide a comfortable and active environment for families, seniors and individuals struggling with homelessness. This innovative development is an example of Governor Hochul’s commitment to investing in housing that is not only affordable, but improves residents’ lives by providing free internet, plenty of outdoor space and access to public transportation, schools, amenities and healthcare. And with the help of our partners at Community Access Inc., Baez Place has the ability to transform lives and build a stronger, more prosperous community.”
Office of Temporary Assistance and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said: “New Yorkers with serious mental illness often find themselves and their families living in an unstable environment because of their condition. Permanent supportive housing, like the dozens of new units Baez Place will soon be offering, will provide the services these individuals and families need to remain safely housed in a self-contained environment. Governor Hochul’s continued efforts to expand permanent supportive housing across our state demonstrates her determination to ensure all New Yorkers have access to safe and affordable housing.
Office of Mental Health Commissioner Ann Sullivan said: “Governor Hochul’s historic housing plan and her commitment to assisted living have provided safe and stable homes for thousands of New Yorkers living with mental illness, which is a critically important part of their recovery. Baez Place will be a beautiful addition to the Mount Hope neighborhood. and will give vulnerable people in the Bronx the opportunity to live and thrive in their own community.”
State Senator Gustavo Rivera said: “The groundbreaking of the Baez Place Apartments in Mount Hope represents a much-needed addition to the Bronx’s affordable housing stock. This new development will provide seniors and the homeless who are on Medicaid an affordable, sustainable place to live while empowering them to serve critical individuals connect supporting services. I commend the state and nonprofit partners for working together and investing in important Bronx housing projects like this one.”
Assembly member Yudelka Tapia said: “Homelessness due to lack of affordable housing and mental illness is a major crisis in New York City. With more than 90,000 men, women and children in upstate New York affected by homelessness, this is a monumental human crisis that requires immediate action. This new Support – Affordable Housing Development will benefit them, our low-income families, people with mental illness and seniors, our most vulnerable population. Thank you to Community Access for your dedication and dedication to serving those most in need in our communities. Baez Place and its 154 residential units offer a sense of hope to anyone in need.”
Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson said: “The commitment to affordable housing that benefits all New Yorkers is a top priority in my administration, and we are thrilled that the Baez Place development fits into this model to bring housing justice and fairness to those who need it most require. With 154 units, 86 units New Yorkers affected by homelessness aside, we can rest assured that our most vulnerable residents now have access to safe, clean, and healthy living environments in our borough.I want Community Access, New York State Homes & Community Renewal and all thank others who have been involved in making this project a reality and fighting for housing justice.”
Community Access CEO Cal Hedigan said: “We are extremely proud to begin construction on Baez Place, Community Access’s 21st affordable and supportive housing development in the city – and our 10th in the Bronx. As we have come to realize over the past 2+ years of COVID, having a stable home is an essential part of individual well-being. For homeless people, this can mean the difference between life and death. Baez Place will bring us one step closer to our ambitious real estate development goal of developing 1,000 new units of affordable and supportive housing. We applaud Governor Hochul’s commitment to addressing New York’s affordable housing crisis.”