July 14, 2022
Bedford Green House Is Home to New Yorkers Formerly Experiencing Homelessness,
Families Impacted by Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder, People Living With HIV/AIDS
Phase II of Project Will Include Homes for Low-Income Seniors, Community Medical Clinic, Library, and Learning Center
Project Follows Mayor Adams’ “Housing Our Neighbors” Blueprint to Get New Yorkers Into Safe, High-Quality, Affordable Homes
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and homeless services nonprofit Project Renewal, today opened the first phase of Bedford Green House — a project that will bring 117 affordable and supportive homes to the Bronx. The project includes 71 apartments set aside for New Yorkers who previously experienced homelessness, families impacted by mental illness and substance use disorder, and people living with HIV/AIDS; with the remaining 46 apartments for low-income households earning up to 60 percent of area median income. Project Renewal is providing on-site wraparound social services, including horticultural therapy utilizing the greenhouse and aquaponic urban farming system on the building’s roof.
“Affordable housing, homelessness, public health, and our environment are all connected, and Project Renewal demonstrates the kind of creative thinking we need to tackle all of them together,” said Mayor Adams. “My administration is laser-focused, not on simply creating housing on paper but on getting New Yorkers into the safe, high-quality, affordable homes they deserve, while helping fight climate change and creating our own nutritious food. We are doing that today in the Bronx at Bedford Green House, and we will continue doing it all across the city.”
“Bedford Green House helps meet our city’s urgent need for supportive and affordable housing and embodies Project Renewal’s mission to empower individuals and families to renew their lives with health, homes, and jobs,” said Eric Rosenbaum, president and CEO, Project Renewal. “More than just an apartment building, Bedford Green House’s design and programming brings residents together, from children to seniors, around shared activities that support healthy living. As we celebrate the opening of this first phase, we look forward to the second phase, bringing more housing and services to more formerly homeless New Yorkers and the wider community.”
Bedford Green House reflects the goals of Mayor Adams’ “Housing Our Neighbors” blueprint for getting New Yorkers into safe, high-quality, affordable homes. The first city housing plan to cover the entire spectrum of New Yorkers’ housing needs and options, the blueprint includes a commitment to accelerate the creation of supportive housing and complete the 15,000 supportive homes promised by 2030, two years ahead of schedule.
Project Renewal’s multidisciplinary team will provide wraparound, on-site services, including case management, occupational therapy, horticultural therapy, and entitlements support. Later this year, construction will begin on a second phase with 116 additional apartments, nearly half of which will be reserved for low-income seniors; a 5,000-square-foot medical clinic; a gym; and The Molly B. Kronick Library and Learning Center for residents. The medical clinic in phase two will offer primary care, pediatrics, podiatry, digital radiology, and other health care services to the whole community.
Integrated throughout the LEED-certified building are innovative design elements, amenities, and services that support residents’ health and long-term stability. A 1,500-square-foot rooftop greenhouse and aquaponics urban farming system allows residents to grow fresh vegetables year-round. A green exterior façade features plantings that will grow to cascade from the top floors to the ground, reducing the building’s energy use and removing airborne pollutants in a borough where children are hospitalized by asthma at a rate 21 times higher than more affluent areas of New York City. Bike storage and a playground encourage active lifestyles for all ages.
“Bedford Green House is what climate and housing justice looks like,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Project Renewal is giving low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers a new outlook on life with the opening of Bedford Green House. This development is a model for housing New Yorkers with dignity, while providing the services needed to live healthy lives. Thanks to Project Renewal, our partners at the city and state, and the entire development team for making this innovative and sustainable project a reality.”
“With critical on-site supportive services, sustainable design features, and a host of community-focused programming and amenities, Bedford Green House offers low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers security, peace of mind, and a place to call home,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “I’d like to thank all of our partners and elected officials for their work to bring holistic solutions to support our city’s affordable housing needs at a time it’s needed more than ever.”
“This administration’s comprehensive plan for addressing homelessness and housing insecurity prioritizes the creation of supportive housing while also strengthening and expanding access to these critical opportunities for our most vulnerable communities,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “We are making vital investments, implementing strategic reforms, and working tirelessly to support our low-income communities and New Yorkers experiencing homelessness in ways that position them for long-term housing stability. The Bedford Green House exemplifies the kind of innovation, sustainable models, and quality of services we envision as we continue to find more impactful ways to support New Yorkers in need, and we are grateful to our incredible partners for bringing this project to life.”
Studies showing the mental and physical health benefits of exposure to the natural world inspired Bedford Green House’s design, including the interior green wall in the lobby and exterior living green facade. In addition to removing pollutants, the vines will reduce the building’s energy usage by absorbing solar radiation during the summer months. During winter months, the vines will shed their leaves and allow sunlight to warm the building. Meanwhile, Bedford Green House’s high-performance building envelope has continuous exterior insulation, which lowers energy usage and operating costs and significantly reduces its carbon footprint.
The aquaponics farming system in the rooftop greenhouse contains fish, vegetables, herbs, and micro greens growing in a symbiotic ecosystem. The fish live in large tanks connected to a bio-filter that breaks down fish waste and carries nutrients to the plant roots, while the plants clean the water for the fish. The space outside the greenhouse will be used for organic farming in planter boxes to grow vegetables that are less suited to aquaponics. Residents will work with Project Renewal’s horticultural therapist to grow their own food year-round, alongside their neighbors. Access to these green and light-filled spaces is especially beneficial during winter months when cold and darkness can contribute to depression.
Additionally, Bedford Green House creates an inviting streetscape through landscaping along the sidewalk frontage, seats at the setbacks, the playground, and public art that encourages residents and neighbors to engage with the building.
Bedford Green House’s construction was financed by HDC, HPD and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance through their Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. Bank of America served as tax credit investor as well as providing the construction letter of credit. Additional grant funding was provided by the Harold and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, TD Bank, and Deutsche Bank Foundation. Operating funding is provided by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and New York City Human Resources Administration. A pre-development loan was provided by the Corporation for Supportive Housing.
“Addressing the challenges posed by serious mental illness or chronic disease can be daunting in the most stable of settings, but overwhelming for those who are unhoused,” said New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz. “Project Renewal’s Bedford Green House will provide individuals and families permanent housing and the supportive services they need to stabilize their lives and thrive in their community – all within an innovative and therapeutic setting. Like the many other projects funded through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, this development will provide struggling New Yorkers with permanent housing and the opportunity to thrive in an independent setting.”
“The Bedford Green House will provide low-income and vulnerable Bronxites including formerly homeless individuals, families impacted by mental illness and substance use disorders, and people with HIV/AIDS, with a much-needed affordable place to live,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I want to thank Project Renewal, Mayor Adams’ administration, and all participating public and private partners for investing in a project that will increase the number of affordable and supportive housing units in my district while integrating access to healthy activities including a greenhouse and an innovative urban farming system.”
“At a time in which housing insecurity is an all-time high, it is imperative that we provide affordable, permanent, and supportive housing to our most vulnerable residents.” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I want to applaud Mayor Eric Adams and Project Renewal for the opening of the first phase of Bedford Green House in the Bronx and for their commitment to decreasing homelessness in our borough. With on-site wraparound services, case management, occupational therapy, and other holistic amenities, this project will not only support our communities` physical needs but also their emotional and mental ones as well.”
“Today, I am proud to join the ribbon-cutting of Project Renewal’s new development, Bedford Green House, which will provide 117 sustainable and affordable housing units in District 14,” said Council Member Pierina Sanchez. “Project Renewal has continuously supported vulnerable New Yorkers in the Bronx. This development will provide a range of onsite supportive social services and provide the community with year-round, environmentally conscious programming and resources. Housing is a human right, and every one of us deserves to live in a stable, healthy, clean home and environment. The Bedford Green House development is an example of investment in sustainable development in the Bronx while creating community spaces and programming.”
“CSH congratulates Project Renewal on the grand opening of Bedford Green House, realizing its beautiful vision for 117 safe, sustainable, affordable, and supportive homes where New Yorkers can thrive,” says Jennifer Trepinski, director, loan originations, CSH. “These new homes are part of the city’s efforts to recover from the pandemic and increase affordable and supportive housing inventories.”
“The rock on this site withstood the force of a glacier one mile thick that came from the north as far as the eye can see. We wanted to bring to the clients that live here that strength and resilience so that they too can thrive as a community in the face of the forces that our society throws at them,” said Andrew B. Knox, FAIA. Partner, ESKW/Architects.