A National Model for the Re-Use of Surplus Hospital Property, the $100 Million Development Provides 293 Units of Sustainable, Supportive, and Affordable Housing for Individuals and Families
Today CAMBA Housing Ventures (CHV) and CAMBA, along with partners from New York State and New York City government and local residents, celebrated the grand opening of CAMBA Gardens Phase II (CGII), the $100 million LEED Gold sustainable, supportive, and affordable housing development in the Wingate section of Brooklyn. Participating in the ribbon cutting were NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Ruthanne Visnauskas, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, and others.
A national model for co-locating housing and healthcare, CGII is a continuation of the successful CAMBA Gardens Phase I (CGI), completed in October 2013, which created an innovative partnership between a public hospital, nonprofit community developer, social service provider and community stakeholders to redevelop underutilized hospital property into much-needed supportive and affordable housing. Recently awarded the 2018 “Excellence in Affordable Housing Development” by the Urban Land Institute New York, CGI and CGII provide 502 homes for low income and vulnerable New Yorkers.
“For more than 40 years, we have worked tirelessly to assist New Yorkers struggling to overcome daily hurdles like housing instability, health issues, insufficient job skills, and domestic violence. Time and again we saw how intertwined affordable housing, access to supportive services, and quality healthcare were to enable healthy, stable lives,” said Joanne M. Oplustil, President and CEO, CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures, Inc. “With the completion of CAMBA Gardens Phase II, we celebrate the realization of our dream to provide all three services in one place for 293 households. A true public-private partnership, CAMBA Gardens would not be possible without the support of our invaluable partners, including New York State, New York City, HCR, HPD, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, elected officials and countless others, and we and the residents of CAMBA Gardens thank you.”
“Safe, decent affordable housing combined with supportive services is key to winning our fight against homelessness,” Governor Cuomo said. “CAMBA Gardens II is a prime example of how we can provide our most vulnerable New Yorkers the opportunity to move forward and upward with their lives by living independently in a compassionate community that takes their interests and goals to heart, building a better New York for all.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said: “CAMBA Gardens Phase II is a prime example of how Governor Cuomo is fighting homelessness by pulling together resources to create affordable housing with wrap around supportive and healthcare services. As we deliver the Governor’s housing plan, it is projects like this that revitalize our communities, create opportunity and grow our economy.”
NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton said, “Partnerships across communities, including public institutions, service providers, and community stakeholders, will help us tackle the housing crisis. That is why I join in welcoming the dedication of CAMBA Gardens II today. When we commit to working together, we can incorporate input from the community and meet critical neighborhood needs.”
Assembly member Diana C. Richardson said, “CAMBA Gardens II shows what we can achieve when we work together in the fight against homelessness. I am thankful that we were able to come together and bring resources that make projects like this, a true asset to our community, possible.”
“This is a phenomenal project that ties together vital priorities: affordable homes, supportive housing and access to healthcare. We are proud to have provided City land and $20 million in funding to get CAMBA Gardens II underway. This is what’s possible when we pull City agencies and our private partners together around a single mission,” said NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.
“CAMBA Gardens Phase II demonstrates what can be accomplished through true government and community partnerships,” said NYC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “Health does not happen within the four walls of a doctor’s office, it happens foremost at home. These 293 supportive housing units will go a long way in helping residents be their healthiest selves. This is another step forward in accomplishing this administration’s vision towards a better and fairer New York City.”
Situated on the campus of NYC Health + Hospitals’ Kings County Campus, CGII consists of 293 apartments (a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and three-bedrooms), with 110 set aside for families and individuals in the community making no more than 60% of the area median income and 182 for formerly homeless families and individuals. CGII is a contextual mix of both historical and modern facades, including brick and curtainwall, and features a 5-, 7- and 9-story stepped design to compliment CGI, neighboring hospital buildings and the surrounding community.
“CAMBA Gardens II represents the essence of the Mayor’s housing plan where we are providing our city’s residents with the opportunity to make healthy life choices while feeling secure in their homes. This new development’s supportive services paired with the creation of 293 affordable homes – 182 of which will be set aside for formerly homeless households – reflect our commitment to creating affordable housing opportunities for New Yorkers while also connecting some of the most vulnerable among us with the support they need to thrive,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I thank my colleagues at the City and State as well as our development partners at CAMBA for their dedication to anchoring communities and supporting New Yorkers in need.”
“Projects like CAMBA Gardens reinforce the growing body of evidence that good health and housing go hand-in-hand. Now more than ever with Secretary Carson at the helm, the nexus of housing and healthcare is upon us,” said Lynne Patton, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “The supportive services and onsite health facilities available for CAMBA’s residents will put them on the pathway to greater stability and independence.”
Co-locating housing on the Kings County campus provides residents with easy access to healthcare and mental health counseling, making it easier for a vulnerable population to get the services it needs. Additionally, supportive and affordable housing at CGII will reduce City costs for shelter, emergency rooms, and jails, with a savings of $10,111 per tenant per year according to a 2014 report from NYC DOHMH. Furthermore, CAMBA Inc.’s on-site staff works with all residents to develop service plans based on their needs and providing services such as independent living skills training, financial literacy, job readiness program, substance abuse programming, and group social events like movie nights, arts and crafts, and organized cultural and sporting events.
“A part of our public health system’s plan is to pursue a more assertive approach around the social determinants of health, especially housing,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, president and chief executive officer at NYC Health + Hospitals. “It’s impossible for people who are homeless or even living in a shelter to maintain an optimum state of health if they have a serious chronic disease. For many, long-term housing can be the best medicine.”
“Projects like CAMBA Gardens Phase II don’t just build housing, they help build communities,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “With a mix of affordable housing, housing set aside for formerly homeless New Yorkers, health and mental health care, services like job readiness training, and community events, this is exactly the kind of partnership we need to address the housing affordability and homelessness challenges in our city, and we are proud to be a part of this initiative.”
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said: “Supportive housing is highly effective in addressing homelessness because in addition to providing a safe, stable place to live, it provides the services required to help individuals overcome the circumstances that may have contributed to them experiencing homelessness. Governor Cuomo embraces this approach and that is why it has remained a key part of his housing plan. CAMBA Gardens Phase II embodies the same approach, providing affordable and supportive housing with an array of much-needed services available on the Kings County campus.”
In addition to creating much needed housing, CGII has spurred economic investment and job creation in the community. Brooklyn subcontractors were awarded more than $30 million in contracts and another $1.3 million went to Brooklyn-based vendors on materials and equipment purchased. During construction, 159 Brooklyn residents were employed, including 54 Community Board 9 and 17 residents, and an additional 38 permanent jobs were created. CGII also awarded $8.6 million in contracts to MWBE contractors.
Councilmember Dr. Mathieu Eugene said, “The Grand Opening of CAMBA Gardens Phase II is an important step in our city’s commitment to providing housing and social services for members of our underserved community. I believe that all New Yorkers have the right to a stable living environment, and this facility will serve as a tremendous benefit to those who have struggled to secure long term housing. I want to express my gratitude to the many partners who have worked together to make this project a reality, and it is my hope that it will serve as a model for other housing initiatives across the city.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said, “Expanding affordable housing across Brooklyn is of the utmost importance, particularly as residents face cost of living increases and rising rents. I’m proud to have supported CAMBA on this exciting project with $1 million in FY14 capital investment, which will help deliver much-needed, energy-efficient housing to East Flatbush, an area of the borough that has experienced decades of economic disadvantage. We must continue to increase the amount of affordable housing being developed in every corner of the borough, so that everyone can find a healthy and stable place to call home regardless of their socioeconomic status.”
CHV has a strong commitment to innovation in sustainability and design, which is evident throughout CGII. Designed and built to achieve NYSERDA, Enterprise Green Communities, and LEED Gold standards, CGII features Energy Star appliances and lighting to reduce utility costs; healthy indoor air quality; high-efficiency building systems; low/non-toxic finishes; bike parking on site; high efficiency flow showers, sinks, and toilets for water conservation; and day-lit common areas and energy-efficient windows.
Alicia Barton, NYSERDA President and CEO said, “Congratulations to CAMBA for designing and building a housing community that offers a wide-range of health and social services to some of our most vulnerable residents. This development offers an innovative solution that supports the region’s sustainability plans and aligns with Governor Cuomo’s strategy to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gases throughout New York’s housing stock.”
“CAMBA Gardens is a true public-private partnership and a model for supportive housing that is green and healthy,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “Supportive housing is critical to addressing New York City’s housing and homelessness crisis, connecting individuals and families to vital services and helping them achieve measurable health outcomes. Enterprise is honored to continue our longtime partnership with CAMBA, which includes providing financing for both phases I and II of CAMBA Gardens and hosting CAMBA as a participant of Enterprise’s Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute.”
“CAMBA Gardens II is a great example of the impact public and private collaboration can make to help the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Maurice Coleman, senior vice president of Community Development Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The bank participated in $25 million letter of credit, but, more importantly, worked closely with state and local agencies and Enterprise Community Investment, to create safe, affordable housing and services for the formerly homeless with special needs here in New York.”
All apartments feature full kitchens and baths, durable and non-toxic finishes, ceiling fans and air-conditioning, wood flooring, solid surface countertops and windowsills, and efficient lighting. Amenities include expansive green space, for both passive and active recreation; community gardens for tenants; computer, laundry, and community rooms for civic groups, Community Board meetings, and KCHC hospital meetings; and 24-hour security.
“Affordable and supportive housing provides the stability that helps drive personal growth and builds stronger communities,” said José R. González, president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. “The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York is proud to have partnered with our member, HSBC Bank, to support CAMBA’s innovative vision to bring nearly 300 such housing opportunities to Brooklyn.”
“HSBC has been a long-time participant in the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of New York’s First Home Club (FHC) and Affordable Housing Programs (AHP). We have sponsored applications for CAMBA Gardens I and II for which the Federal Home Loan Bank awarded a combined $ 3.3 million. It is critical that we support the communities we operate in, and by establishing strong relationships like this, we are able to engrain ourselves in the community and give back in ways that make a tangible impact. CAMBA Gardens is a highly imaginative and innovative project that is a blessing,” said Marie Pedraza, Vice President Sr. Regional Community Development Manager, HSBC Bank USA.
“The development of CAMBA Gardens Phase II is another significant milestone for this Brooklyn community,” said Matthew Schatz, Vice President at TD Bank. “We’re proud to help with such an innovative initiative and are excited that it provides a new beginning for many New Yorkers. TD Bank’s participation in deals like this, fit in well with our vision of being invested and making a positive impact in serving local communities.”
CGII was financed by leveraging $100 million in public and private investment. The New York State Housing Finance Authority (HFA) provided $49.3 million in tax exempt bonds and $4.1 million in Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) funds. TD Bank provided credit enhancement, and Enterprise Community Investment syndicated $40.3 million in 4% as-of-right Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), with Bank of America serving as the tax credit investor. HPD provided $20.5 million through the Supportive Housing Loan Program. The New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Program provided $6 million. The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York/AHP provided $1.45 million through member bank HSBC. The Brooklyn Borough President and the New York City Council through Councilmember Dr. Mathieu Eugene each provided $1 million in capital allocations, and NYSERDA provided $300,000.
“With the opening of CAMBA Gardens II, what started as a vision in 2005 continues to be the source of hope and real solutions for vulnerable New Yorkers in need of supportive housing,” said Deborah De Santis, President and CEO of CSH. “Based on a CSH briefing paper we authored back then, CAMBA Housing Ventures (CHV) seized an opportunity to bring the housing and healthcare sectors together, using Kings County Hospital surplus land to turn the vision into a national model. We are immensely proud of their work and the leadership role they are playing and consider their projects some of our best investments.”
Additionally, CGII received pre-development financing from the Corporation for Supportive Housing and Enterprise Community Loan Fund. CAMBA’s on-site social services are funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), New York City Human Resources Administration HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA), and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH NY/NY III).
Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said: “Supportive housing not only provides the stability of having a place to call home, but it also supports people with mental illness while they discover the possibilities of their lives and engage with resources in their own communities. Studies show that individuals with mental illness have better outcomes when they are integrated into their communities, and CAMBA Gardens is helping so many reach their fullest potential.”
“Supportive housing gives residents a foundation to rebuild their lives,” said NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The Health Department is proud to support on-site supportive services at CAMBA’s new developments.”