FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Held for Catholic Charities Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence in Astoria, Queens
The New Affordable Senior Residence with Supportive Services Will Provide 102 Units
Includes the Relocated Catholic Charities Peter J. DellaMonica Older Adult Center
Queens, NY – On Friday, October 7, 2022, The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, and Monsignor Alfred P. LoPinto, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Affiliate Agencies, were joined by Adolfo Carrión, Commissioner of the New York City Housing Preservation and Development, and Ebony Young, Deputy Queens Borough President, for a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence. Located in Astoria, Queens, the $62 million development provides 102 units of affordable apartments for low-income seniors and formerly homeless adults with supportive services. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is one of the largest faith-based social service agencies and providers of affordable housing in the United States and, through CCPOP, currently provides 4,465 units of affordable homes.
Developed by Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation (CCPOP), the affordable housing arm of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, in partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), funding for the Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence includes a $3.1 million annual allocation of 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which leverages $30.8 million in tax credit equity over 15 years. Richman Housing Resources LLC syndicated tax credits, and Bank of America provided construction lending. Barings LLC provided permanent loan commitment for the project over the next 30 years.
Located at 23-11 31st Road in Astoria, Queens, the Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence features a 6-story, 84,900 square foot state-of-the-art facility. The residence includes on-site residential supportive social services, a resident’s lounge, a large, exterior landscaped yard for relaxation, recreation and gardening and the relocated Catholic Charities Peter J. DellaMonica Older Adult Center.
With 102 residential units and one superintendent’s unit, the building is a 100 percent affordable residence for seniors. 30 percent of the building is reserved for formerly homeless seniors with severe mental illness (SMI), sponsored by the New York City 15/15 Supportive Housing Initiative through the Department of Social Services. The remainder of units reserved for low-income seniors will target those making up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). 100 percent of resident units are supported with rental operating subsidies through the HUD Section 8 Project-Based Voucher program, as administered by the New York City Housing Authority.
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens named the new residence after the late Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, Rene A. Valero. A strong vocal advocate for the elderly, refugees, and the Hispanic community until he retired in 2005, Bishop Valero had a significant role in developing and expanding services to help seniors age with dignity. The Bishop was the first Director of the Catholic Charities Office for the Aging and was the founder and Chairperson of the Diocesan Commission on the Elderly. He influenced the development of the Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Brooklyn and chaired the Committee of Racial Harmony. He spearheaded the creation of the Diocesan Golden Age Clubs and remained a passionate advocate for older adults and their importance to the local parishes throughout his life. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is pleased to dedicate the Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence in Astoria in his memory.
“Today we celebrate the good work of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, and their continued commitment to providing affordable housing for our elderly. We are responding to a great need here in our Diocese, and are putting our faith into action as we embark on this new opportunity to care for our neighbor. May these new apartments bring a sense of dignity and well-being to those who will call them home,” said Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn.
“We are truly honored today to dedicate the Bishop Rene Valero Senior Residence. Affordable housing is one of the biggest crises facing New York City. As one of the largest faith-based developers of affordable housing in the country, we understand how crucial it is to address this issue,” said Monsignor Alfred P. LoPinto, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and Affiliate Agencies. “This project provides much needed housing to low-income seniors and a supportive environment for formerly homeless individuals, and allows the residents to live safely, comfortably and independently for as long as possible. There are hundreds of thousands of individuals in need of affordable housing in New York City, and we cannot build fast enough.”
“With the completion of the Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence, New York City and partners like Catholic Charities are once again delivering for older New Yorkers by opening the doors to new affordable senior housing,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Some of our most at-risk older New Yorkers, including those who were once unhoused, will now have the safety and security of housing that comes equipped with the specialized services they need to thrive. Thank you to all who made this project possible.”
“In a time with such high demand for senior housing, including for supportive housing for formerly homeless seniors, the opening of the Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence is a true blessing for our borough,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “This state-of-the-art facility, with its 102 affordable units and its many services and amenities, will be the warm and welcoming home that so many of seniors have been looking for so long. My heartfelt thanks goes to Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and all those who worked on this project, which will stand as a fitting tribute to Bishop Valero and his legacy of faith and service.”
“With its supportive services and affordable apartments for low-income seniors and formerly homeless adults, the new Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence is just what we need to make New York a safer, healthier city for all its residents,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán. “On behalf of District 22, I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this project happen, and my deep gratitude for all you’re doing for the New Yorkers who most need support.”
“The Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence represents the kind of affordable and supportive housing that provides some of our most vulnerable seniors with homes that are designed to not only ensure long-term stability, but to allow residents to lead gratifying and healthy lives,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “Projects like this are essential to our ongoing efforts to connect New Yorkers in need to high-quality housing and supports. We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Catholic Charities and all other partners involved in this project, and we look forward to continuing to work together to accomplish our shared goal of making New York City more equitable and affordable for all.”
In 2016, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens joined a coalition with LiveOn NY that advocated for changes to the New York City zoning resolution. Approved by the New York City Council, the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) included allowing buildings with affordable or senior housing to be taller and eliminating parking requirements for affordable senior housing near subway lines. This new ZQA regulation allowed Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens to build crucial affordable housing units on underutilized parking lots within the existing Catholic Charities’ housing portfolio. The Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence is the second phase of the Catholic Charities Catherine Sheridan Senior Residence built in 1978, which currently provides 240 apartments for low-income seniors. The Bishop Rene A. Valero Residence is located directly across the street in what was the Catherine Sheridan Senior Residence’s parking lot.
“Advocates have estimated that over 22,000 residents in Western Queens are in need of senior affordable housing,” said Costa Constantinides, Former New York City Council Member, District 22 and Chief Executive Officer, Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens. “Catholic Charities constructing this new state of the art Bishop Rene A. Valero building will help meet a critical need in our neighborhood. Meeting the needs of our vulnerable community members with a senior center as well, this building is a great step forward and I am glad to join in the chorus in praise for this important project.”
The Catholic Charities Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence Development Team consists of Richman Housing Resources, Bank of America, and Barings LLC; Dattner Architects; Monadnock Construction, Inc., General Contractor; KOW / ARMA Consultants, Owner’s Representative; Bright Power, Inc., Sustainability Consultant; and A. Larovere Consulting, Development Consultant.
“I would like to congratulate our partners Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and the New York City Department for Housing Preservation and Development for the opening of Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence, a 102 unit affordable housing project,” said Kevin Hoffman, Vice President, The Richman Group Affordable Housing Corporation. “At Richman, we primarily work on affordable-supportive housing developments with integrated supportive services to help vulnerable populations stabilize and thrive. In the case of the Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence, 31 units are reserved for permanent supportive housing. Richman continues to invest in supportive housing developments like Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence because these tenants deserve a safe and stable place to call home.”
“We are thrilled to see the opening of Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence. This important and highly needed development in Astoria deepens our partnership with Catholic Charities and the New York City Department for Housing Preservation and Development to provide affordable housing for seniors,” said Daron Tubian, Head of Affordable Housing Investments and Managing Director at Barings. “Our long-term loan commitment to this project highlights the emphasis we put on building sustainable communities and enhancing the lives of low and moderate income residents across the city and nationwide. We look forward to expanding our close collaboration with community leaders to provide financing solutions that help to alleviate the critical shortage of affordable housing in our country.”
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony included a celebration of the relocation of the New York City Department for the Aging funded, Catholic Charities Peter J. DellaMonica Older Adult Center. Residents and neighbors can enjoy a 6,400 square foot, 175-person community center on the ground floor of the building, funded by the New York City Department for the Aging and operated by Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, an affiliate agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. The programming for the Peter J. DellaMonica Senior Center includes daily hot meals made on-site, educational forums, fitness classes, and senior case management and referral services.
“Congratulations to Catholic Charities and all partners who contributed to this project. The opening of Bishop Rene A. Valero Senior Residence brings together two essential resources to the community —affordable housing and access to social services, as those are offered at Peter DellaMonica Older Adult Center. The goal is to ensure that both affordable housing and social services are available for older adults in Astoria and across New York City. I would like to thank Monsignor Alfred P. LoPinto for his vision and contribution to our age-inclusive city,” said Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, Commissioner, NYC Department for the Aging.
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About Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens: For over 124 years, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has been providing quality social services to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens and currently offers 160-plus programs and services for children, youth, adults, older adults, and those struggling with mental illness. Since 1975, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation, the affordable housing developer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, has been transforming vacant land and buildings into affordable housing units and transforming the lives of individuals and families, and completed more than 4,450 units with supportive services for seniors, families, veterans and the formerly homeless. Since the pandemic began, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has provided much-needed food packages and services at 60 Catholic Charities parish-based food pantries and has distributed over $8.5 million in food assistance. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens continues to deliver crucial mental health counseling, housing services, family services, early childhood education, and emergency services. For more information, please visit www.ccbq.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @cathcharitiesBQ or @catholiccharitiesBQ.
About The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD): HPD promotes quality and affordability in the city’s housing, and diversity and strength in the city’s neighborhoods because every New Yorker deserves a safe, affordable place to live in a neighborhood they love. We maintain building and resident safety and health, create opportunities for New Yorkers through housing affordability, and engage New Yorkers to build and sustain neighborhood strength and diversity. To learn more about what we do, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.
About Richman Housing Resources LLC: Over the last five years, The Richman Group and its affiliates has been the nation’s premier sponsor of affordable housing tax credit funds. To date, the organization has structured and sponsored real estate investment funds that have surpassed 1,600 properties acquired. Our properties are located in forty-nine states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through public and private offerings, the firm has raised $14 billion of equity dollars that have been invested in real estate transactions having a property cost of nearly $25 billion. One characteristic that distinguishes The Richman Group is our acquisition philosophy, which is based on the premise that reducing risk is the prime objective of our partners. Drawing on our diverse competencies, we actively work with developers during the project design and structuring stages to reduce investment risk for our investors while enhancing economic performance for our third-party developers, both for-profit and not-for-profit. The result is that not one of our approximately 1,300 tax credit properties is experiencing economic default. Learn more at www.therichmangroup.com.
About Barings LLC: Barings is a $349+ billion* global investment manager sourcing differentiated opportunities and building long-term portfolios across public and private fixed income, real estate, and specialist equity markets. With investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the firm, a subsidiary of MassMutual, aims to serve its clients, communities, and employees, and is committed to sustainable practices and responsible investment. Learn more at www.barings.com.
*Assets under management as of June 30, 2022
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