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Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens And Partners Open New, Energy-Efficient, Affordable Housing Apartments in Brooklyn

On Thursday, Sept. 26, in a mid-morning ribbon-cutting ceremony, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, along with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and CPC Resources, officially opened the Catholic Charities Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments in Ocean Hill, Brooklyn.
View Photo Gallery From Thursday’s Ribbon Cutting
The $18 million, 64-unit, Catholic Charities Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments were developed as a partnership between CPCR and CCBQ and is located on the site of the former school, rectory, and convent of Our Lady of Loreto Church. The apartments were developed under Mayer Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by 2014.
Located at 2354-2358 and 2372-2374 Atlantic Avenue, and 2353-2365 Pacific Street, Catholic Charities Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments is comprised of eight separate four-story buildings. Utilizing CPCR’s highly successful “Infill Housing Prototype” design, the apartments have transformed underutilized, scattered sites into sound housing, a need which is increasingly important in a land-scarce city like New York. Conceived by RKT&B Architects and developed in conjunction with CPCR, the “Infill Housing Prototype” is inspired by New York City’s brownstone walk-ups and applies energy-efficient techniques, including Energy Star appliances and highly efficient heating and air conditioning systems.
Those who gave remarks at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting were: Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, Vicar for Human Services for the Diocese of Brooklyn on behalf of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens; Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn; Deborah Widerkehr, Vice President of CPC Resources, Inc.; Darrly C. Towns, Commissioner and CEO of HCR; RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of HPD; Richard Bearak, Director of Land Use, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office’ William Traylor, President of Richman Housing Resources; David Walsh, Senior Vice President of Community Development Banking at JP Morgan Chase; and Joseph Jennings, a resident of the apartment complex.
Also in attendance were Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta’s sister Elena Walhert, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens CEO, Robert Siebel and Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Deputy Executive Director Sister Ellen Patricia Finn, OP.
Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments’ eight buildings have a total of 64 apartments, with the units split evenly between one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Amenities include a community room with a kitchen for use by residents, and laundry facilities. All units are air conditioned. Monthly rents range from $494 to $860 with eight units receiving project-based Section 8 rent subsidies allocated by HCR. These units are reserved for very low income tenants earning no more than 60% Area Median Income (AMI), which is no more than an annual income of $36,120 for an individual. AMI levels are calculated annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A portion of the total apartments in this development were reserved for families on the HCR waitlist and the remainders were filled through an HPD-supervised housing lottery.
Quotes from Thursday’s Ribbon-Cutting
Robert Siebel, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens:
“A safe, affordable home is essential to providing stability to the most vulnerable in our society. For low-income families, individuals, older adults and the formerly homeless in New York City, we are pleased to be able to offer a fresh new start and hope for the future. Providing and preserving affordable housing is one of the cornerstones of our mission and we are committed to do whatever we can do to provide for those in need. We are grateful to our partners CPC Resources, Inc., The Community Preservation Corporation, The New York City Department of Preservation and Development, New York State Homes and Community Renewal and Richman Housing Resources for their support of affordable housing.”
Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, Vicar for Human Services, Diocese of Brooklyn:
“After much anticipation by families in need of low-income-housing in Ocean Hill Brooklyn, we are pleased to celebrate the grand opening of these much-needed affordable housing apartments for families. The need for affordable housing in New York City is overwhelming and with this newly constructed development, Catholic Charities upholds our commitment to providing low-income families with the highest quality housing and services in their own neighborhood.”
RuthAnne Visnauskas, HPD Commissioner:
“It took vision and resolve to transform these underused properties―once a rectory, a school and a convent―into these beautiful homes. Thanks are due to our partners at CPC, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Brooklyn Community Board 16, Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, Richman Housing Resources, and JP Morgan Chase. The hard work of all of these great organizations is well represented in bricks and mortar and glass. But the most important aspect of this new development is the families and individuals that will have a new place to call home. ”
Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of HCR:
“New York State is committed to investing in developments like the Catholic Charities Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments. I know the neighborhoods of Ocean Hill and Brownsville well—and also know that housing like this will advance Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vision of stronger, more vibrant communities. These beautiful, new apartments will be energy-efficient and affordable homes that will complement the surrounding neighborhood. I commend and congratulate CPC, CPCR, Catholic Charities, HPD, Richman and all of the other partners who brought this important project to completion.”
Thomas McGrath, Senior Vice President & Head of CPC Resources, Inc. (CPCR):
“Catholic Charities Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments will help to provide safe affordable housing options in Brooklyn and typifies our efforts to partner with multiple public and private entities to create much needed affordable housing across the New York City. With the support of longtime, valuable partners like Catholic Charities, HCR, HPD and Richman Housing Resources, underutilized faith-based land has been repurposed to meet a critical need at a time when thousands of affordable housing units are lost each year. Together, we’re helping to keep the Ocean Hill community affordable and ensure that 64 individuals and families continue to live in their neighborhood.”
Bill Traylor, President of Richman Housing Resources:
”Anyone can do the easy, plain-vanilla development. Not every developer can do the types of developments that transform derelict sites into community assets that become a genuine spark for community revitalization. Monsignor Barretta Apartments is just such the spark that Ocean Hill-Brownsville needs and deserves and CPCR and Catholic Charities are the right developers to bring it to market.”
Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President:
“Grazie mille to our friends at Catholic Charities, as well as HPD, HCR, CPCR, CPC, Richman Housing Resources, Chase Bank and the Diocese of Brooklyn, for once again delivering on their commitment to provide energy-efficient affordable housing for some of Brooklyn’s communities in greatest need. Too many borough residents leave because they can no longer afford to live in Brooklyn. With the great demand for affordable housing, every attempt should be made to provide these opportunities and to work on making them affordable forever. The residents of Catholic Charities Monsignor Anthony J. Barretta Apartments will be a wonderful addition to the richness of Ocean Hill-Brownsville.”
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