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Friday, June 17, 2022

A New Day for Sustainable Supportive Housing in the South Bronx

Creating new supportive and affordable housing takes patience, perseverance and partnership. On Thursday, June 16th Breaking Ground was proud to gather with the many organizations and individuals who made Betances Residence a reality.

Betances is Breaking Ground's first Passive House certified development, and among only a handful of supportive residences in the City to embrace the Passive House standard, among the most rigorous for reducing the energy footprint of residential and commercial developments. With a tight building envelope and engineered ventilation systems, the Passive House design ensures a high indoor air quality for Breaking Ground’s senior tenants while achieving optimal energy efficiencies. Designed by COOKFOX Architects, the building integrates biophilic design strategies, such as the incorporation of natural materials, movement patterns, and abundant natural light throughout, to enhance resident well-being. The entry to the building is focused on a framed view of the central organizing feature of the project, a verdant courtyard garden. Visible from both the sidewalk and the corridors of the residential floors, the garden creates connections between residents and the wider community, creating a cohesive pedestrian and residential experience.

Betances © Frank Oudeman Otto 02

The 152 apartments at Betances are home to formerly homeless and low-income older adult households, including one superintendent unit. Crucially, 26 of the units have a preference for current residents of NYCHA apartments, allowing senior residents to continue to age in place in the community while freeing up much-needed NYCHA apartments for other households.

Betances © Frank Oudeman Otto 06

The 120,000 square foot development features a 24-hour attended lobby, state-of-the-art security systems, a laundry room, library and computer lab, multipurpose room for events and programming, and landscaped courtyard and roof spaces. The building also features 4,700 square feet of community facility space to create educational opportunities for underserved youth.

Betances © Frank Oudeman Otto 05

Breaking Ground celebrated the occasion with partners at the New York City Council and Bronx Borough President’s Office, New York City Housing Preservation and Development, New York City Housing Development Corporation, New York City Housing Authority, New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and the Center for Urban Community Services.

Located between Willis and Brook Avenues on a site that spans 142nd to 143rd Streets, the building is composed of two eight-story residential towers and provides 22 one-bedroom and 130 studio apartments.

Betances © Frank Oudeman Otto 01

Onsite social services will be offered to all residents in the building by the Center for Urban Community Services, Breaking Ground’s long-standing partner, marking their 11th residential collaboration over the past three decades. Betances will be Breaking Ground’s seventh building in the Bronx and increase its total units under management in the borough to more than 1,100.

See our press release for more information.

Photography copyright Frank Oudeman/OTTO for COOKFOX Architects

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