October 14, 2020

New York City Issues Occupancy Certificate for Adventist-Sponsored Senior Housing

Northeastern Conference News, and Adventist Review

The City of New York in the United States has issued a temporary certificate of occupancy for the newly completed Northeastern Towers Annex. The 10-story building will provide 159 units of affordable housing for seniors aged 62 years and up. It consists of 100 one-bedroom units, 58 studio units, and one two-bedroom apartment for the superintendent.

The Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (NEC) administration conceived the project due to a growing backlog of applications in the original Northeastern Towers building, with waiting lists of up to five years. The new facility is adjacent to the original 110-unit tower built nearly 40 years ago.

The US$90.6 million project was financed with federal, state, and local financing earmarked for subsidized senior housing. The New York City Housing Development Corporation issued US$50 million in tax-exempt bonds, while the Department of Housing Preservation and Development added US$13 million in local subsidies. Low-income-housing tax credits generated the rest.

At the October 2018 groundbreaking ceremony, NEC president Daniel Honore stated, “The Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is proud to stand with our neighbors to ensure that senior citizens, who have given so much to our community, enjoy safe, clean, and affordable housing in their sunset years.”

On October 7, 2020, conference administrators were joined by the office staff for a visit and inspection of the completed premises. Atlantic Union Conference president G. Earl Knight joined the group and offered a dedicatory blessing for the building. Guests then proceeded to visit the facilities.

A formal ribbon-cutting inauguration ceremony is being planned in the near future.

Tenants were selected through a lottery process administered through the New York City Housing Authority. More than 37,000 applications were submitted for the 159 units, accentuating the need for affordable senior housing in New York City. Fifty-five units have been set aside to house previously homeless New York families. The conference encouraged as many eligible senior members as possible to apply. Because of the government funding involved, there can be no discrimination on the basis of religion.

“Several Seventh-day Adventist families were selected through the process, and we are delighted that some of our members will benefit from the project,” executive secretary Oswald Euell said. Families will begin moving in during the next few weeks, he added.

The new building will be managed for 15 years by the Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC), which has an extensive background in managing subsidized senior housing projects throughout New York City that are built through tax credits.

FAC executive director Michelle de la Uz acknowledged the role of the Adventist Church region’s administration. “The project has been a true partnership with the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists from inception,” she said.