City officials break ground on Jamaica housing development for homeless residents with mental illness

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Photo courtesy of TSINY

Residents facing homelessness with mental and behavioral health concerns will soon have a new place to call home in Jamaica. 

Local elected officials, community members and city officials on Nov. 26 broke ground at 161-01 89th Ave. that will become the site of a newly constructed 46,000-square-foot, eight-story, 70-unit apartment complex for chronically homeless individuals with serious mental illness from the New York City Homeless Shelter system and for low-income individuals 62 years of age and older. 

The construction site (Photo courtesy of TSINY)

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, a reception was held at the Jamaica Central Public Library at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. with supporters involved in the development. 

“All neighborhoods around the world have citizens who struggle with mental illness and homelessness. It’s important that community leaders not turn away from these individuals, but rather work with partners in the public and private sectors to find helpful solutions,” said Hope Knight, president and CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. “GJDC supports this project and TSINY’s work as an excellent operator and provider of supportive services.”

The building, operated by Transitional Services for New York Inc. (TSINY), will provide tenants a range of programs and services including assistance dealing with substance abuse, budgeting, housekeeping, cooking and more. 

TSINY is not-for-profit, multifaceted mental health corporation that provides community-based services to individuals recovering from mental illness. TSINY tenants also receive a number of supportive mental health services to promote independence and self-sufficiency. 

TD Bank’s Commercial Real Estate Group provided a $15.6 million construction loan toward financing the development of affordable housing for homeless, according to Gloribel Cruz, vice president of Commercial Real Estate at TD Bank. 

TD’s loan, combined with Santander Bank’s investment in low-income tax credits, city subsidy and a permanent commitment from The Community Preservation Corporation will allow TSINY to construct the development. The project involves the demolition of a vacant existing building, the Monica House, which historically operated as a single-room occupancy.

Safe affordable housing should be accessible to everyone, especially our most vulnerable, and with the addition of this new development, TD is helping to ensure that all New Yorkers have a place to call home,” Cruz said. “We are proud to be a financial institution for an organization that is working hard to improve the lives of those less fortunate in our local communities.”

The project reinforces TD Bank’s, The Ready Commitment, a multi-year program designed to open doors for a more inclusive tomorrow through community giving in four areas: financial security, vibrant planet, connected communities and better health. 

“Jamaica is not different from any other part of New York City where there is high demand for affordable housing, special needs housing,” Cruz said. “The city is committed to addressing the housing needs of this population through their NYC 15/15 program, which matches capital dollars with rental assistance and social services for homeless or frail residents.”

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