Two Elder Housing Developments To Be Built In New York City
Affordable Housing Will Feature a Wide Range of Culturally Competent Services for LGBT Older Adults
This spring, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and NYC Housing and Preservation (HPD) announced the selection of BFC Partners and SAGE, to develop a 145-unit affordable senior housing development. Located in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, Ingersoll Senior Residences will be the nation’s largest LGBT-welcoming elder housing development in the nation.
Separately, the 82-unit Crotona Senior Residences, located in Crotona Park North, Bronx, will be developed as part of a collaboration between HPD, HELP USA, NY State Homes and Community Renewal and SAGE. The developments are one component of the National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative which SAGE launched in 2015 in response to evidence of widespread discrimination against LGBT older people in senior housing.
LGBT elder housing is a national issue, as clearly illustrated by President Barack Obama’s statement in his Pride Month Proclamation: “LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands beside them. That is why my Administration is striving to better understand the needs of LGBT adults and to provide affordable, welcoming, and supportive housing to aging LGBT Americans.” These new developments address the need highlighted by President Obama by weaving together affordable housing and comprehensive on-site services in ways that enable older people to age in community.
“For too long, our LGBT elder pioneers in New York City have lacked access to housing where they are welcomed for who they are,” said Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of SAGE. “Ingersoll and Crotona are a critically important step toward righting that wrong.”
On-site SAGE Centers at both locations will be modeled after SAGE’s highly successful Innovative Senior Centers located in Chelsea, Harlem, the Bronx, Staten Island (in partnership with the Pride Center of Staten Island), and Brooklyn (in partnership with GRIOT Circle). Residents and community members will have access to wide-ranging programming and social engagement opportunities.
Both developments will be financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by housing more than half a million New Yorkers, ranging from those with very low incomes to the middle class – all of whom face increased pressures due to ever-rising rents.
Ingersoll Senior Residences will be made possible through a partnership with the NYCHA, HPD, the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and other development partners. The City announced the selection of the development plan for this building in May of this year. This new affordable senior housing will comply with fair housing regulations and be available to all seniors meeting income eligibility requirements, regardless of their sexual orientation, through a lottery process.
"We are honored and excited to be partnering with SAGE to deliver New York City's largest senior housing project designed to accommodate the LGBT Community. I commend NYCHA for their vision in recognizing the opportunity this project presents, and for their determination to keep New York City in the forefront of innovative housing models,” said Don Capoccia of BFC Partners.
“The partnership between the City, BFC, and SAGE to expand affordable housing opportunities and services at Ingersoll is a powerful example of how we’re creating more connected communities through NextGeneration NYCHA,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “Once complete, the Ingersoll Senior Residences will give seniors an affordable place to call home. It will provide much-needed social services to the Fort Greene neighborhood and the LGBTQ community.”
Crotona Senior Residences will be made possible through a partnership with HPD, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and other development partners. Crotona Senior Residences will be financed in part by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Housing Trust Fund Corporation and the Community Investment Fund. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres also provided capital support for the development.
Ingersoll Senior Residences and Crotona Senior Residences build upon precedents of LGBT-inclusive senior housing that has been built in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis. All of these developments respond to needs that are well-documented by research. This includes a 2014 report by the Equal Rights Center, with support from SAGE, which found that 48% of LGBT older people applying for senior housing as part of a national test were subjected to discrimination. This high level of discrimination makes it extremely difficult for LGBT older people to find appropriate housing as they age.
"HELP USA is happy to be working with SAGE to fill the dire need for housing for LGBT seniors in New York City,” said Tom Hameline, Ph.D. President & CEO HELP USA. “HELP’s long history of service to New York City’s most vulnerable populations, and SAGE’s pioneering advocacy for LGBT elders across the country, make for an ideal partnership.”
The Ingersoll and Crotona Senior Residences will provide:
- 100% affordable senior housing;
- A range of supportive services designed to help tenants achieve health and wellbeing;
- Apartments conducive to safe and active aging;
- On-site access to SAGE Centers, which will provide LGBT culturally competent services to older adults who live in the buildings and surrounding community; and
- Hot meals and high quality programming every day.
“LGBT older people face a housing crisis. These groundbreaking developments are an important step toward combatting that crisis in New York City by providing not only affordable and welcoming housing but also on-site services pioneered through SAGE’s network of LGBT senior centers,” said Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of SAGE.
SAGE will hold a press conference on Thursday, June 30 at 12:30 pm at SAGE Center Midtown, SAGE’s flagship LGBT senior center at 305 7th Avenue in Manhattan.
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 29 SAGE affiliates in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at sageusa.org and lgbtagingcenter.org.
ABOUT BFC PARTNERS
BFC has been a developer of affordable and market-rate housing, as well as mixed use projects in New York City for more than 30 years. After starting in the East Village in the 1980s, BFC has established itself as a major developer in Brooklyn, completing the award-winning Toren in Downtown Brooklyn and the award-winning creative office building 1000 Dean Street in Crown Heights. BFC is currently nearing completion on 7 DeKalb at City Point on Flatbush Avenue and has broken ground on the city’s first outlet center on Staten Island. Most recently, BFC was part of a team to be selected by the city to develop Bedford Courts in Crown Heights and Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side. Since the firm’s inception in 1985, BFC and its principals have completed over $5 billion in development projects, encompassing the construction of more than 8,000 residential units and millions of square feet of mixed-use development. For more information about BFC Partners visit www.bfcnyc.com.
ABOUT HELP USA
HELP USA has been an innovator since opening its first residence in 1986. HELP USA has combined innovation with management excellence, becoming a national leader in both homeless prevention and a developer of permanent supportive housing for special needs populations such as homeless families, veterans, and survivors of domestic violence. HELP USA’s 38 locations serve communities across the United States including Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City, Buffalo, and Washington, D.C. The impact of HELP USA’s work is to build empowered communities where everyone has a place to call home. For more information about HELP USA visit www.helpusa.org.
ABOUT SAGE’S NATIONAL LGBT ELDER HOUSING INITIATIVE
SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative was launched in response to a 2014 report documenting widespread discrimination against LGBT people seeking admission to or living in senior housing. The path-breaking initiative engages consumers, providers, and policymakers to increase access to and create understanding and welcoming environments in housing for LGBT older people. In addition to encouraging LGBT-inclusive housing like Ingersoll Senior Residences and Crotona Senior Residences, the initiative includes policy advocacy, consumer education, cultural competency training for providers and technical assistance to communities seeking to address LGBT elder housing issues. For more information about SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative visit www.sageusa.org/sagehousing.