Some Astoria seniors now have a safe, comfortable and affordable place to call home.
City and state Housing representatives and local elected officials gathered with the community on November 15 for the grand opening of the affordable Hellenic-American Neighborhood Action Committee (HANAC) – Presbyterian Church of Astoria (PCA) Senior Residence, located at 31-34 33rd Street.
The six-story, $24 million project was built on the site of the former Presbyterian Church of Astoria, which had reached out to the nonprofit HANAC organization and Enterprise Community Partners after facing financial difficulties.
“HANAC-PCA Senior Residence is a critical example of how underutilized, faith-based sites can be used to create new housing in a city where land is scarce and the need for affordable housing is great,” said John Kaiteri, HANAC executive director and CEO.
Since last October, 90 tenants have moved into the affordable housing development, which targets low-income seniors. The building includes 56 one-bedroom units, nine studio apartments and a superintendent’s unit. The development also includes a community room with a full kitchen, vegetable garden, bocce ball court, social service offices, an on-site service coordinator and large balconies, where seniors can step out and lounge.
The building was designed to meet all guidelines for people with disabilities. Since the facility worked with green design partners, it includes a high efficiency heating system, water conserving fixtures and landscaped gardens with native trees and plants that minimize water usage. Residents’ exclusive use of Energy Star label appliances will decrease energy use by 20 percent.
Tenants and visitors can also enjoy a small exhibit in the main lobby that features items dating back to the 1920s, photos of the church and pieces of the altar.
“HANAC has a long history of serving those in need in our community, and this public dedication continues that tradition by expanding quality, affordable housing for seniors,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.
The development was primarily funded through the city, state and Borough President Helen Marshall.