Doors open to new housing for low-income seniors
By Adam Wisnieski
On Monday morning, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale opened a 58-apartment building for low-income seniors at 3247 Johnson Ave.
Residents, who had not yet been inside to see their future home, clutched roses in one hand and glasses of champagne in the other as Rep. Eliot Engel, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman Oliver Koppell posed for a ribbon-cutting picture with Hebrew Home CEO Dan Reingold.
Once the ribbon had been snipped, residents rushed to the elevators to see the apartments. For over half an hour, the third floor of the building was packed with seniors inspecting every inch of the new one-bedroom apartments.
“Oh! This is beautiful,” said Gloria McPherson, as she walked into an apartment for the first time.
After Mr. Reingold approached Mr. Engel about turning the vacant building into low-income for seniors, Mr. Engel secured a Housing and Urban Development grant in 2010 of more than $10 million for the project. Two years later, the building is open and seniors will be moving in beginning in two weeks. HUD accepted thousands of applications from qualified seniors, but only 58 were chosen.
“For people living here, congratulations on winning the lottery,” Mr. Engel said.
Ms. McPherson said she currently lives with her sister in small apartment in Concourse Village. When asked how the new place compared to her current living situation, she said, “Oh this is a mansion … you know how the Bronx is.”
Some seniors walked from room to room, even though they did not differ much, talking about where they planned to put furniture.
“This is a new beginning for senior citizens, let’s make the most of it,” Sylvia Lask said.
— Reporting contributed by Bria Holness.
KeywordsThe Hebrew Home, Riverdale, Rep. Eliot Engel, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman Oliver Koppell, Dan Reingold,