Residents of the Rose Hill Apartments adjacent to Fordham’s Bronx campus are better prepared for the winter thanks to a new roof, heating equipment, energy efficient windows and other upgrades.
The remaining renovations include exterior façade repairs, apartment renovations and maintenance such as brand new kitchens, appliances and “roll-in” showers for handicapped apartments, as well as upgrades to corridors and common areas.
The project was part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s ambitious New Housing Marketplace plan to build and preserve 165,000 homes by 2014. The creation and augmentation of affordable housing across New York City is part of the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan, which aims to provide jobs for New Yorkers and implement long-term economic growth resulting in affordable, attractive neighborhoods.
The Rose Hill Apartments, which are located at 2855 Southern Boulevard, were built in 1984 under the guidance of a partnership that included Fordham University to house the low-income elderly. It is a nine-story elevator building with 119 rental units.
There are approximately 134 residents of Rose Hill Apartments. Forty percent are Hispanic/Latino, in keeping with the overall composition of the Bronx. Forty percent are Korean, many from the local Bedford Park neighborhood a few blocks away. Ten percent are African American and the remaining residents are Caucasian.
Ninety-seven percent of the building is comprised of retirees who live on Social Security, SSI or small pensions. Eighty-nine percent of the residents can be classified as extremely low income. For many, Rose Hill Apartments and its subsidized rental opportunities represent their only option for safe, well-maintained, affordable housing.
“The apartment renovation portion of the work was extremely challenging with elderly residents in place,” said Nayda Alejandro, the Rose Hill Apartments manager for nearly 24 years, “but most tenants would agree that it was well worth the wait.”
Alejandro commented that “the community space upgrades, including ping-pong and Wii, have encouraged more tenant participation in activities. The new lobby and adjoining lounge make the residents feel like they are living in a well-appointed upscale hotel. From a management point of view, all of the modernizations were essential to ensure that the new building components will take us well into the future.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 4 were Marc Jahr, president of the New York City Housing Development Corporation; Brian Byrne, Ph.D., and Joe Muriana from Rose Hill Senior Apartments Inc.; and Jim Buckley from University Neighborhood Housing Program, Inc.
Byrne is the vice president for Lincoln Center and Muriana is the associate vice president of government relations at Fordham.
The New York City Housing Development Corporation provided $10.1 million to finance the first phase of construction and $8.3 million for the permanent phase. The refinancing permitted the existing mortgage to be paid in full; funded moderate rehabilitation of the building and the apartments, and funded operating and project reserves.
The total cost of the development is expected to be $20.1 million. The construction phase at Rose Hill provided 131 direct jobs.