NEW YORK CITY — HANAC Inc., Enterprise Community Partners and Chase have opened the doors on Corona Senior Residence, an affordable seniors housing community in the Corona neighborhood of Queens.
The eight-story community offers 67 units for residents over age 62, including 21 set aside specifically for homeless seniors. The development includes an onsite preschool administered by the New York City School Construction Authority that currently serves nearly 60 children.
The residence is one of the largest low-income senior housing developments in the nation to meet Passive Housing Institute Design Standards, which cut energy consumption by up to 90 percent, resulting in lower utility bills for tenants and lower operating costs for owners. The building also meets the NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Standards for Energy Star Certification as well as the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.
The residence was one of the first properties to receive funding under New York City Housing & Preservation Department’s Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) program, and offers supportive services to residents through a HANAC Corona social worker onsite every day. The social worker provides tenants with chronic disease management and prevention education, as well as community-building activities to encourage the formation of informal support networks and decrease social isolation. Residents also have the opportunity to access medical care coordination and mental health assessments.
“Now is the time to invest in healthy, affordable housing for seniors who are vulnerable to losing their homes due to rising costs of both rent and medical care,” says Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader with Enterprise Community Partners. “Corona Senior Residence goes beyond housing alone to provide critical supportive services and meet the highest green standards through Passive House Certification.”
The $36 million project was developed out of the Willets Point Community Benefits Agreement. Funding included over $14 million in city subsidy, including $9.7 million from the SARA Program, $3.6 million in Reso A funding from the City Council and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and $1 million in settlement funds from the New York State Attorney General’s office.
Chase and New York City Retirement System (NYCRS) also provided funding for the project. Enterprise syndicated $12.8 million in equity through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
Bruno Frustaci Contracting Inc. was general contractor, with think! Architecture and Design as the architect. The Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) was sustainability consultant, Goldstein Hall PLLC was counsel and James Mitchell was housing consultant.
“Affordable housing is critical for our most vulnerable New Yorkers, especially our seniors,” said U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “With a pre-K on the ground floor and additional programs and services, this is precisely the kind of development our borough needs.”
“New York City is struggling with a true crisis in affordable housing,” added New York State Attorney General Letitia James. “Far too many seniors have been forced out of their homes and are struggling to find affordable alternatives.”