Bronx, NY: Unique People Services were joined by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), and the Center from Supportive Housing to celebrate the ceremonial grand opening of Lynn’s Place, a new supportive housing development with 69 affordable apartments and onsite services. Former NYC City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and Assemblyman and Vice Chair of the Democratic Party Michael Blake and various community stakeholders were in attendance.
“As the Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction, I would like to thank Unique People Services for their commitment to supporting individuals with mental health conditions, said Councilperson Diana Ayala. “Mental health has been stigmatized in our communities for generations. This stigma, coupled with lack of resources in underserved neighborhoods, has caused people to go without treatment for far too long. She further stated, “that is why organizations such as Unique People Services are so important. “
“This innovative, energy efficient affordable supportive housing project honors the legacy of Lynn Wonsang, founder of Unique People Services and longtime advocate for the disabled. By providing essential services and support to its residents, Lynn’s Place will surely live up to its name,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank and congratulate UPS and our many other development partners on this significant milestone, which represents a new beginning for some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.”
“Everyone here today is a UPS champion and a true testament that the key to this new day in the history of our organization is collaboration. Collaboration and dedication to the people we serve today and tomorrow” stated Yvette B. Andre, Executive Director of Unique People Services. “This accomplishment would not be possible without the generosity of our partners and stakeholders. All of them are such great examples of what creative collaboration can achieve.”
“We’re proud to be part of a partnership that’s helped to create safe, affordable and supportive housing that will serve the community for years to come,” said Robert Riggs, Senior Vice President & Regional Director at CPC. “We’re fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Unique People Services, Comptroller Stringer and our funding partners at NYCRS, HPD and DHS who understand that providing a safe and supportive environment can help New Yorkers with special needs live with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
Lynn’s Place, named after the organizations founder Lynn Wonsang provides homes for a mix of formerly homeless individuals and low income families. During the event, a Lynn’s Place tenant shared, “I am grateful for the services provided by UPS—I finally have a home, where I can be myself and not worry about the negative stigma and effects of homelessness. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and it’s all because of UPS.”
The building features 69 affordable apartments, 42 of which for special needs tenants and 27 for individuals making less than $46,860 and families of three making less than $56,340. Lynn’s Place earned LEED for Homes v3 Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise label, for providing energy-efficient, healthy housing that will benefit the environment and residents alike. The development also includes a community space on the ground floor, a sunken courtyard, a landscaped back yard.
Residential services are provided through a NY/NY III contract from the NYS Office of Mental Health. Permanent financing, including grants, and loans came from NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Resolution A funds, Capital One Bank, CSH, and the Community Preservation Corporation. The development also benefited from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Hudson Housing Capital is the syndicator for the tax credits. Robert Sanborn of Robert Sanborn Development is the housing consultant.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026. For full details visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.
Unique People Services, Inc. (UPS) is a New York-based nonprofit 501(c) 3 that provides supportive housing and medical case management services to individuals and families living with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities and HIV/AIDS. The agency operates more than 24 supportive housing programs in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Westchester County.
More than 800 New Yorkers call UPS’ home, living in well-appointed residences where they receive meals and support services to help them achieve the highest possible levels of independent living and community inclusion. The transitional, long-term and permanent housing UPS provides has also become a safe haven for many formerly homeless individuals. For more information about Unique People Services, visit www.uniquepeopleservices.org/
About the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC):
Established in 1974, CPC is a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company that believes housing is central to transforming underserved neighborhoods into thriving and vibrant communities. The company provides a full suite of capital products through its construction lending, permanent lending, and equity investing platforms. Since inception, CPC has leveraged approximately $10 billion in private and public investment to finance more than 185,000 units of multifamily housing. CPC’s work with its partners has helped revitalize countless neighborhoods and provided quality housing for families, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities. Visit CPC at communityp.com, and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.