Mayor de Blasio Announces Senior Affordable Housing and Skilled Nursing Care Beds On The Lower East Side
Improved plan speeds up proposal to address deficit in nursing home beds in the wake of Rivington House closure
Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a mixed-income development project that will include affordable homes for approximately 100 seniors on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In addition, the City is funding 60 skilled nursing facility beds at NYC Health + Hospital/Gouverneur to increase short-term rehabilitation and long-term services for clinically complex cases at the Madison Street health facility.
“This plan is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to the Lower East Side, the seniors who built this amazing and diverse community, and the immediacy of their needs. This neighborhood must be made whole for a broken City process that resulted in the sale of a critical health care facility,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“After years of shrinking affordable housing and healthcare options for our seniors, we are finally beginning to turn the tide,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “This plan is an important part of our efforts to allow elderly New Yorkers the ability to grow old in a caring, safe place in the neighborhoods they call home. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Shorris and HPD for following through on their commitment to increase the availability of healthcare and affordable housing for seniors in desperate need.”
The affordable homes and health care for seniors fills a commitment made by the Mayor to replace services lost in the wake of the Rivington House nursing home closure in 2015. The proposal replaces and improves an earlier plan for senior affordable homes and health care at 30 Pike Street. Last year, the City announced sweeping reforms to a decades-old deed modification process that resulted in the sale of Rivington House and loss of the nursing home beds. The new rules provide increased transparency and accountability, and require the City to consider the public value of a project seeking modifications to land-use restrictions.
The new beds will occupy two new units at the 227 Madison St. Gouverneur facility. The units, being built in previously unused space at the facility, are expected to be fully operational by April. To accommodate the new capacity, Gouverneur has begun hiring the approximately 75 health-care professionals, including nurses, doctors, therapists, social workers, and dieticians needed to run the units. The 295-bed facility is one of the country’s top post-acute care centers.
The 88 new affordable homes, enough for approximately 100 senior, are the result of a public-private partnership between the Administration, the Chinese American Planning Council and Gotham Organization. The Council, one of the largest non-profit providers of educational, social, and community services for Asian-Americans in the United States, and Gotham, the New York City-based developer, owner and operator, partnered with the City last year to create a plan that would add senior affordable homes to a 400-unit, mixed income, mixed-use, new construction development project at the existing parking lot adjacent to 50 Norfolk Street.
The 88 affordable senior homes are above and beyond the approximately 100 permanently affordable homes the project is expected to produce under Mayor de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. The project will go through the City’s public review process. In addition to housing, the development will incorporate a new headquarters for the Chinese American Planning Council to provide its social service programs, a new congregation space for Beth Hamedrash Hagodol and new neighborhood retail space.
“This plan makes good on our commitment to put seniors first under our accelerated and expanded housing plan. These projects will deliver affordable homes for 100 New York seniors and 60 skilled nursing beds, providing both housing and critically needed health services to those who helped build our great city,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank the Mayor and all my colleagues across City government for their partnership to seek solutions that provide safe, quality, affordable housing and health services for our seniors.”
“We are pleased to expand our best-in-class nursing care and rehabilitation services and provide much-needed continuity of care to many more residents of the Lower East Side, as well as other patients served by the 11 hospitals in our public health care system,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “Having skilled nursing facilities and hospitals that are part of the same health system means that our rehabilitation teams can work closely with doctors to understand a patient’s previous care and create a personalized treatment plan that best meets their needs. And because we’re all part of the same family, patients can expect a smooth transition from the hospital to the next level of care.”
“Today, we continue to help older New Yorkers, many of whom struggle to find affordable housing and quality health care because of income constraints,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Donna Corrado. “In the process, we build on our commitment to help seniors remain in the communities where they have lived, worked and raised their children.”
“Gotham has a longstanding history of working collaboratively with city government and local organizations to provide much-needed housing and other community amenities. We are committed to creating a mixed-use development that will serve the neighborhood for years to come,” said Gotham Executive Vice President of Development Bryan Kelly.
“We look forward to furthering our mission through this partnership with the City and Gotham. This plan not only provides quality affordable housing to seniors in our neighborhood, but also creates an improved home base for our employees and community members to better extend our services,” said Chinese American Planning Council President & CEO Wayne Ho.
Besides these investments, the Administration can highlight more than $70 million investments in lower Manhattan parks and the creation of 3,092 affordable homes in Lower Manhattan, 254 of them for seniors.