PT: NYC Group Launches Affordable Housing for Families Initiative

Supportive Housing Provider Taking on Family Homelessness
By Brendan Cheney Politico October 5, 2017

Breaking Ground, the city's largest provider of supportive housing for single adults, officially kicked off its expansion into homelessness prevention for families, cutting the ribbon Wednesday on its first new affordable housing building for parents and children.

The group started out addressing chronic homelessness among single adults, who often live unsheltered with mental health needs, substance abuse problems or physical health problems, by providing supportive housing and outreach services.

Supportive housing policy was created in the 1980s to serve the growing population of chronically homeless individuals by providing affordable housing along with services like counseling, case management and health services.

"When you look at the number of families falling into homelessness in recent years, and from particular neighborhoods, we decided it just made sense for us to increase our involvement in serving at-risk families with children," said Brenda Rosen, president and CEO of Breaking Ground, in an interview with POLITICO.

Over the past two decades, the problem of family homelessness has grown, in part driven by worsening financial issues.

Since 2000, median incomes have stagnated while median rents have increased.

The new development, in the Tremont neighborhood of the Bronx, will have 248 units of affordable housing, with 80 percent of the units for households earning $51,540 assuming a three-person family (60 percent of area median income) and 20 percent for households earning $34,360 (40 percent of area median income).

More than half of the apartments are two- or three-bedroom apartments and the new development received 55,000 applications according to Rosen.

On the same property there will also be a new 170 units of supportive housing opening in early 2018.