FR Housing Complex Receives Big Boost
New York State Governor David Patterson provided good news for some residents of Far Rockaway this week when he announced that Brookdale Village Houses, a state regulated Mitchell Lama project in Far Rockaway, will receive $20.5 million to finance repairs and maintain affordability in the complex, which houses a high number of elderly residents, many of them on a fixed income that comes from Social Security.
The 22 story, 546 unit apartment building, located at 125 Beach 19 Street, is operated by the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA). It was selected by the governor to be part of a massive $742 million statewide housing grant and financing project that will be used to finance construction of new housing units and the preservation of existing structures.
Brookdale Village, which primarily houses the elderly, has agreed to keep rents affordable for the next 40 years, ensuring the future of the affordable housing complex in Far Rockaway. The promise was give in return for the funding of the housing complex's capital improvements.
Elaine Boardman, COO for JASA is elated that their complex was chosen by the governor.
"We're thrilled because Brookdale Village is in need of a lot of work," she said. "Everyone will benefit from this."
She also added that JASA had recently refinanced the property to afford a first set of repairs. However, the money granted by the governor will now finance window replacements, generators, a new oil tank, flooring, cabinetry and energy efficient appliances. She expects all the work to be completed in the next year and a half, with the first set of repairs slated to start by the end of July.
A spokesperson for Governor Patterson, Erin Duggan, said that Brookdale Village had to apply to the state in order to be eligible for the funding.
"We finance projects that enable us to further our mission, which is to preserve and create affordable housing," she said.
She added that any New York State regulated Mitchell-Lama project would have been eligible to receive money from the governor.
"The governor is always looking for ways to bring more affordable housing to New York communities," she said, when asked if the governor would revisit the idea in the future.
Duggan added that the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) will be monitoring every financed project, including signing off and reviewing all requisitions during construction.
"After construction, they review the project's financials to ensure that the project is following the regulatory agreement, which they sign with every borrower," she said. "This ensures that the project is renting to eligible tenants and keeping the project in good repair."