Cardinal Dolan dedicates new building in the Bronx with 112 apartments
St. Augustine Terrace, built on the site of St. Augustine’s Church, which was demolished in 2013, is the first phase in a multi-year plan to develop church properties in New York into about 2000 low-income and affordable housing units.
Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of New York, said that the Catholic Church in New York began working for affordable housing since the “war on poverty” began in the 1960s. Since that time, Catholic Charities has provided “thousands” of units of affordable housing in different parts of New York City.
Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, which is separate, also has been turning former parish properties into low income housing. Since 1976, the Diocese of Brooklyn has dedicated 26 church properties for housing developed by Catholic Charities, said Lucy Garrido-Mota, a spokeswoman for Brooklyn Catholic Charities. “The result is 4,330 units of permanent and affordable housing for low-income seniors and families, many of whom were at risk of becoming homeless.” In its latest project, Catholic Charities is planning to build 135 units of affordable housing for seniors on the site of a former church in Brooklyn, she said.
The new projects come at a time when dioceses have consolidated parishes and closed churches on the one hand, and are seeking ways to respond to the demand for housing, which has pushed many lower-income families out of the city.
One of the new residents of St. Augustine Terrace, designed by Magnusson Architects + Planners, is James Jennings, who could not afford an apartment in New York, in spite of working two jobs. For six years, he lived in his car.
At St. Augustine Terrace, a third of the units will be set aside for adults with mental illness, who will be serviced by the Beacon of Hope Division of Catholic Charities Community Services.
Catholic Charities of New York plans to build four additional homes in the Bronx and one in Manhattan.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?