This piece was originally published in Bronx Times
A once vacant lot on Walton Avenue will now provide homeless veterans and young people with a new lease on life.
On Tuesday, July 7, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and New York City Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs joined Jericho Project, B & B Supportive and other partners in announcing the construction of Walton Avenue, Jericho’s largest-to-date veterans and supportive housing residence in the borough.
Located at 2065 Walton Avenue, the new 90-unit residence will be built on a 7,500-square foot parcel within close proximity to the Burnside Avenue shopping area.
It will cost approximately $30.6 million to construct.
The residence is financed under Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan which aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing and has received additional financial support from HPD, Bank of America, NYC Employee Retirement System, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Home Depot Foundation and Citi.
Working with B & B Supportive LLC, Walton Avenue is Jericho’s eighth supportive housing residence, its third veterans residence and its first residence for young adults focusing on the vulnerable LGBT population.
“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,” Tori Lyon, Jericho Project executive director expressed.
The new residence will have 33 supportive housing units for young adults ages 18 through 25 from Community Board 5 via referrals from BronxWorks, Covenant House and other local non-profits working with young adults in need.
Unique to Walton Avenue is its special focus on LGBT young adults who are more likely to be homeless and to have suffered from domestic violence.
In addition to housing homeless young adults, Walton Avenue will provide 56 units for homeless veterans referred by the Bronx VA Medical Center.
All apartments here will be affordable to people earning an annual income at or below $18,150 and rents will be subsidized using federal HUD-Veterans Supportive Housing vouchers for veteran units and Project-based Section 8 vouchers from NYCHA for young adult units to ensure that tenants will only need to pay 30% of their income towards rent.
“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,” NYC Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Gilbert Taylor shared.
Walton Avenue will feature community rooms, computer access including free Wi-Fi, office space for social services, landscaped outdoor space with seating furniture, laundry facilities, full-time 24-hour front desk security coverage and an on-site maintenance staff and property manager.
Jericho will provide tenants here with a full range of services including case management, individual and group counseling, employment and educational assistance, family reunification and social activities.
Information and referral services will include job training, educational programs, primary health care, substance abuse treatment, and mental health treatment.
Various workshops, health fairs, computer classes and other events will also be scheduled at this new residence and open to members of the community.
Walton Avenue is slated for a projected February 2017 completion, according to Lyon.
©2015 COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP