THE BRONX, N.Y., July 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and New York City Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs joined The Jericho Project, B & B Supportive, and other partners to announce the start of construction on 2065 Walton Avenue, a new development that will provide affordable housing and supportive services to formerly homeless veterans and at-risk young adults, with special attention to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender homeless youth population. This project builds on the de Blasio Administration's commitment to helping achieve the national goal to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. The Mayor's Housing New York plan outlines the City's approach to address the housing needs of homeless veterans, which includes the use of federal Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers and active collaboration with non-profit organizations like the Jericho Project and U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA).
2065 Walton Avenue is being financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio's Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan. The plan aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City's history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City's affordability crisis by reaching more than half a million New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes to those in the middle class, all of whom face ever-rising rents.
"The women and men who serve in our nation's military sacrifice willingly and put the needs of our country before their own," said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. "For many of our veterans the process of transitioning from military to civilian life can sometimes be difficult, but that doesn't mean they have to go it alone. A safe, stable, affordable home coupled with specialized services and an environment that recognizes their unique needs and honors their service can be the hand up that our veterans need to achieve their best. I'm proud to work with outstanding partners like the Jericho Project, the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs, and our elected officials who share the mission of ending veterans' homelessness by supporting the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting ours."
"Today's groundbreaking ceremony provides tangible evidence of how New Yorkers are heeding Mayor de Blasio's call to action and committing themselves to ending veteran homelessness," said Loree Sutton, MD, Brigadier General (retired), Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs (MOVA). "Mayor de Blasio has pledged to expand affordable housing across the five boroughs and to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015—and today's groundbreaking is a powerful symbol of both of these critical commitments. I applaud the Jericho Project and B&B Supportive for their leadership and ingenuity and am both heartened and inspired by so many individuals and organizations who are likewise stepping up to participate in this historic movement. Working together, we will uphold our collective moral imperative to support those who have served and sacrificed so much on our behalf."
"We are committed to ending both veteran homelessness by the end of this calendar year and protecting LGBT youth on the brink of homelessness, and we are proud to collaborate with the Jericho Project initiative whose daily work provides supportive services and affordable housing for homeless veterans and LGBT youth," said Gilbert Taylor, Commissioner, NYC Department of Homeless Services.
"This is a landmark moment for Jericho Project as we deepen our commitment to veterans and extend our services to young adults who are in dire need of housing and support," said Jericho Project Executive Director Tori Lyon. Jericho currently serves over 1,600 adults and children, including 550 veterans, across the five boroughs of New York.
"B & B Supportive is proud to be collaborating with Jericho to expand the supply of affordable housing for New Yorkers in need," said Alan Bell, Principal of B & B Supportive LLC, which is committed to developing supportive housing throughout the City for individuals and families.
"Bank of America Merrill Lynch is pleased to provide $17.6 million in debt and tax credit equity to support the Jericho Project and B&B Supportive in this inspirational and innovative project," said Maurice Coleman, senior client manager, community development banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "Projects like Walton Avenue demonstrate the bank's commitment to building safe and supportive housing, in this case, helping veterans and formerly homeless youth."
Joe Wimberley from The Home Depot Foundation said, "The Home Depot is dedicated to improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families, enabling them to attain the housing they deserve after bravely serving our country." The Home Deport Foundation generously granted $500,000 in support of the Walton Avenue residence.
Citi served as the first corporate partner to support the Walton Avenue project through a $40,000 contribution through Citi Salutes, a company-wide initiative to help meet the needs of service members, veterans and their families. Citi's support will provide vital technology infrastructure for the project.
Fifty-six (56) apartments will serve homeless veterans referred by the Bronx VA Medical Center. Thirty-three (33) apartments will serve young adults ages 18-25 from Bronx Community Board 5, via referrals from BronxWorks, Covenant House, and other local non-profit organizations that work with young adults in need.
Jericho Project is a nationally acclaimed nonprofit that for 32 years has worked to end homelessness at its roots by creating a goal-oriented community that motivates men and women to reach their greatest potential.
SOURCE Jericho Project