Home for the Holidays at East Clarke Place Senior Residence
Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 15 for East Clarke Place Senior Residence, our new spacious 14-story, 122-unit rental building developed in response to the critical shortage of suitable affordable housing for older New Yorkers.
The program, located in the Jerome Avenue Highbridge-Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx, provides safe and affordable permanent housing for low- and very low-income seniors, including those who are formerly and chronically homeless.
“At risk of poverty, homelessness, illness, isolation and food insecurity, older New Yorkers are among our most vulnerable neighbors. They deserve to have a safe, affordable and supportive community where they can grow old with grace and dignity,” said Myung J. Lee, President and CEO of VOA-GNY. “We are delighted that this first holiday season at East Clarke Place gives our seniors a special place of their own to call home—a place where they can live safely and independently as possible.”
In attendance to celebrate the new development were Council Member and Bronx Borough President-Elect Vanessa L. Gibson, New York State Assembly Member Amanda Septimo, Council Member-Elect Althea Stevens and HPD Director of the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) program, Sarah Leitson.
“Every New Yorker in our city has a fundamental right to live a dignified life that includes having safe and affordable housing,” said Council Member and Bronx Borough President-Elect Vanessa L. Gibson. “This new 14-story, 122- unit rental building development at East Clarke Place will ensure that our older adults not only have affordable, safe and quality housing, but also comprehensive wraparound services to support their needs. Our seniors are the trailblazers and pioneers that paved the way for us and they deserve to have a place to call home without the fear of being severely rent-burdened as we attempt to recover from the impact COVID-19 has had on our borough. I am proud of the $250,000 I was able to allocate towards this important project and I want to thank Volunteers of America[-Greater New York], Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., New York City Housing Development Corporation, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for their partnership in helping bring this senior housing to our community.”
“This is how government is supposed to work, this is how private–public partnerships are supposed to look, this is how we are supposed to deliver for communities,” said New York State Assembly Member Amanda Septimo in remarks at the event. “I had a lovely conversation with some of the residents [of East Clarke Place Senior Residence] who talked about how there really is everything that you could need in this place.”
“Our seniors deserve to age with support and dignity in the communities they’ve helped to build, which is why I’m proud to welcome this 122- unit senior affordable housing building at East Clarke Place to my district,” said Council Member-elect Althea Stevens. “Thanks to Myung Lee and Volunteers of America-Greater New York for their vision and partnership to bring state of the art amenities, holistic support, and safe and affordable housing to ensure formerly homeless and low-income seniors continue to call this community home.”
$500,000 in funding for the project was also provided by the office of current Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "East Clarke Place Senior Residence is a model for how we should be taking care of our seniors that are most in need," said Diaz Jr. "I am proud to have supported this project that will now empower some of our most vulnerable Bronx residents and ensure that they have a place to call home and access to important services.”
“The housing affordability crisis has made it extremely difficult for vulnerable, low-income seniors to find decent, stable housing anywhere in our city,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres. “The new East Clarke Place Senior Residence will offer seniors an affordable place to live independently and with dignity. It is a welcome addition to our borough, and we are excited about the support it will offer to formerly homeless and low-income seniors.”
“I am excited about the opening of East Clarke Place Senior Residence because it means hundreds of our senior neighbors will be able to remain in the community they call home,” said Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. “Amid the affordable housing crisis, older New Yorkers are at an especially high risk of displacement. This is even more striking in Black and brown communities across the city. I'm pleased that East Clarke Place will become home to many low-income or formerly unhoused senior citizens, and I know that we need more spaces like it. The overwhelming amount of applications for these units is a testament to the urgent need for more deeply affordable housing here in the Bronx and across the entire city for our older neighbors.”
“At the City level, we have made important progress connecting more than 16,000 New Yorkers formerly experiencing homelessness to supportive housing opportunities,” said HRA Administrator Gary Jenkins. “As we build on this progress and strengthen pathways to stability for all New Yorkers in need, we’re excited to support Volunteers of America’s East Clarke Place Senior Residence which will provide more housing and services to additional seniors in order to help them get back on their feet.”
“East Clarke Place Senior Residences provide 122 senior households with beautiful new homes and the supportive services they need to thrive,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “Congratulations to VOA-GNY on this new sustainable development with community spaces for seniors to congregate, and to the new residents, welcome home!”
“Projects like East Clarke Place Senior Residence are helping to ensure our City remains equitable, especially for our aging New Yorkers,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “This newly constructed development offers 122 affordable homes for seniors, including 32 fully-furnished apartments for formerly homeless households, while also offering onsite supportive services in an environmentally conscious LEEDS-certified building. Thank you to Volunteers of America and all our partners for their support in bringing this project to completion, and welcome home to the new residents.”
Highlighting the intense need for subsidized senior housing in New York, VOA-GNY received 26,000 applications for the 84 units designated for low-income seniors. To live in the building, tenants must be at least 62 years old and homeless or earn 60% or less of the local area’s median income.
East Clark Place Senior Residence is located at 112 East Clarke Place. The LEED Platinum-certified building features 37 fully-furnished units set aside for chronically homeless seniors who will also benefit from a comprehensive range of support services.
The building, designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC, has already been awarded a Merit Award from the National chapter of the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) and an Honorable Mention in the Social Impact category in Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Awards.
Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY) is an anti-poverty organization that aims to end homelessness in the greater New York area by 2050 by providing housing, health and wealth-building services to our neighbors who are experiencing, or are at imminent risk of, homelessness. We are the local affiliate of the national organization, Volunteers of America, Inc., which was founded in New York City in 1896. Today, VOA-GNY employs 1,000 professional staff that provide life-changing services through 66 programs in New York City, Westchester County and Northern New Jersey.