Calvary Baptist Church celebrates completion of newly renovated senior housing in Jamaica

Calvary Baptist Church and CB-Emmanuel Realty cut the ribbon on the church’s newly-renovated senior housing on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
Photo by Paul Frangipane

The Calvary Baptist Church and CB Emmanuel Realty held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of renovations to the church’s senior housing Tuesday, Nov. 21 in Jamaica.

The completion of the project at 160-60 Claude Ave. is the culmination of efforts to preserve 100 units of affordable senior housing, including deeply affordable studio and one-bedroom units provided for very low and low-income seniors.

Residents of Calvary Baptist Church Senior Housing attend the ribbon cutting for the center’s newly-renovated housing on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Photo by Paul Frangipane

Several key stakeholders were in attendance for the ceremony, including local elected officials, community leaders and representatives from the organizations that helped make the project possible.

Photo by Paul Frangipane

“Across New York City, the rising cost of housing has made finding a safe and secure home extremely difficult, especially for older New Yorkers living on fixed incomes,” New York State Homes and Community Renewal Executive Deputy Commissioner Betsy Mallow said. “We really take pride in preserving our existing affordable housing resources like this and believe it’s absolutely essential. A reliably affordable home is not just a roof over someone’s head. It’s sustained health, it’s independence, it’s improved social connections.”

Betsy Mallow, executive deputy commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal speaks during the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Paul Frangipane

According to CB Emmanuel Realty Co-Founder and Managing Partner Chris Bramwell, the total investment in this revitalization project added up to more than $30 million. He also said this is just the first of many projects that CB Emmanuel Realty intends to undertake in South Jamaica.

Chris Bramwell, co-founder and managing partner of CB-Emmanuel Realty speaks. Photo by Paul Frangipane

“[This project] demonstrated our strong commitment to maintaining affordable housing options for seniors here in Jamaica, Queens,” Bramwell said. “This project holds a special significance for me, as I was born and raised in this neighborhood. I am filled with gratitude to be present here today, as it brings my journey full circle. Being raised in this neighborhood has instilled in me the importance of never forgetting where I come from. I always knew that if I every had the opportunity to give back to the community, I would cease it without hesitation. There is no greater sense of fulfillment than returning to my roots and contributing to redeveloping of my own neighborhood.”

Among the new features in these homes are new kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures, bathrooms, ceramic walls and floor tiles. There is also energy efficient lighting, a comprehensive security camera package, new windows, roofing, solar panels, refurbished elevators, a revamped laundry room, a community room and extension to the vestibule.

“I was here for some of the onset of the construction and to walk into this building today, to see such a beautiful project is a testament to the hard work of all of our partners,” Calvary Board Member Carolyn Jasper said. “So today I would just like to say thank you to all of you.”

Carolyn Jasper, Calvary board member, speaks during the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Paul Frangipane

For longtime Calvary Senior Housing resident Faye Fluker, this feels like the culmination of three decades of time and effort she has put in toward fighting for improved conditions and experience there.

Resident Faye Fluker. Photo by Paul Frangipane

“I thank each and every one of the workers here and I thank every tenant who is here,” Fluker said. “I pray that you all will enjoy yourselves as a tenant here and we have a come a long way, but we still got a long way to go. We have to get together as brothers and sisters and fight together, not just some of us, we have to love one another, we need more love right here in Calvary. We spread the love abroad to everyone.”

Additional reporting by Paul Frangipane.