Saturday, June 4, 2022

Developers Complete $84M Affordable Housing Development For Seniors At 1074 Washington Avenue In Morrisania, Bronx


Rendering of the Trinity Reverend William James Senior Apartments at 1074 Washington Avenue - Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

A new, mixed-use, affordable housing project for low-income seniors has debuted in the Morrisania section of The Bronx. Located at 1074 Washington Avenue, the Trinity-Reverend William James Senior Apartments is constructed on land formerly occupied by a vacant United Methodist church and today comprises a collection of 154 deeply affordable apartments, a 5,400-square-foot social services facility on the ground floor, and recreational amenity spaces for future occupants.

The building was first announced in August 2021 as 1080 Washington Avenue, when demolition of the vacant church began. Today, the team responsible for the project includes affordable housing developer Bronx Pro Group, United Methodist City Society, and The Fortune Society, a New York-based non-profit that provides support to formerly incarcerated individuals. Curtis + Ginsberg served as architect of record.

Completed view of Trinity Reverend William James Senior Apartments at 1074 Washington Avenue - BronxPro

“The opening of the Trinity-Reverend James Senior Apartments in the South Bronx is years in the making and is a huge win for our older adults that will benefit from not only having affordable housing, but also wrap-around services, fitness equipment, a residential garden and other essential amenities without having to leave their home,” said Bronx borough president Vanessa L. Gibson. “As we attempt to recover from the pandemic, the need for housing has never been more important.”

The mix of apartments include 57 supportive apartments reserved for formerly homeless and incarcerated seniors. The remaining 96 units will be marketed to individuals and households at or below 60 percent AMI and made available through the NYC Housing Connect portal, plus a single unit for the live-in superintendent. Available floor plans are limited to studios and one-bedroom homes.

Amenity spaces will include a communal laundry room, a fitness center, a sunroom and greenhouse, an outdoor garden, and bicycle storage.

Now complete, the development is the latest component of Governor Kathy Hochul’s $25 billion, five-year, housing plan that aims to increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable homes across New York. This includes 10,000 units with support services for vulnerable populations.

“As we recover from the pandemic, it is critical that we take bold action to make New York a more affordable place for all, which is why my administration launched a comprehensive $25 billion affordable housing plan to help ensure every New Yorker has access to safe, affordable housing,” Governor Hochul said. “My administration will continue to prioritize transformative projects like this one that repurpose unused space to aggressively tackle the housing crisis. Every New Yorker deserves a place to live and the resources they need to thrive – not least of all our seniors and those who were formerly incarcerated.”

Total construction costs are estimated at $84 million.

State financing for the development includes $15.9 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $33 million in equity, $11.6 million in subsidy and $2 million through the Community Investment Fund program, all from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development provided $13 million through the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments program and Project-Based Vouchers for 106 households.

Additional financing and development support was provided by Enterprise Community Partners, Freddie Mac, and JP Morgan Chase.

Permits Filed For 256 Mount Hope Place In Tremont, The Bronx


Permits have been filed for a six-story residential building at 256 Mount Hope Place in Tremont, The Bronx. Located between Monroe and Anthony Avenues, the lot is near the Tremont Avenue subway station, serviced by the B and D trains. Moshe Steinmetz under the MS Investments 3 LLC is listed as the owner behind the applications.

The proposed 70-foot-tall development will yield 9,620 square feet designated for residential space. The building will have 21 residences, most likely rentals based on the average unit scope of 458 square feet. The steel-based structure will also have a 30-foot-long rear yard but no accessory parking.

Nikolai Katz Architect is listed as the architect of record.

Demolition permits have not been filed for the single-family residence on the site. An estimated completion date has not been announced.

Governor Hochul Issues Proclamation for Special Elections

 Governor Kathy Hochul New York State Seal

Governor Kathy Hochul issued a proclamation declaring that special elections to fill the vacancies in the 19th and 23rd Congressional Districts will be held on Tuesday, August 23. The special elections will fill the vacancies created by the resignations of Antonio Delgado and Tom Reed.    

"With the resignations of Congressmembers Delgado and Reed, I am declaring a special election to fill these vacancies and ensure continued representation for the residents of the 19th and 23rd Congressional Districts," Governor Hochul said. "I look forward to developing a productive relationship with the next representatives from the 19th and 23rd Congressional Districts as we work together to deliver for New York in our nation's capital."  

Senator Biaggi's Week in Review: 5/30/22-6/3/22


Senator Alessandra Biaggi

Dear Community,

This week in Albany, the New York State Legislature concluded its legislative session for the year. After months of drafting policy, meeting with advocates, and negotiating bills, we wrapped up the session and gaveled out for 2022.

I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish this year. While there is always more work to be done, I believe that we made significant strides– from the Legislative budget, to reproductive rights, and sexual harassment. My office will be sending out a comprehensive legislative mailer in the near future which will provide in-depth information regarding our legislative wins from this session. 

As I close out my final chapter in Albany, I can’t help but look back at how much we have been able to accomplish since I started my position in 2019. While there have been many ups and downs along the way, I am incredibly proud of all of the progress that we have made in the last few years. New York is a better state for it, and I am very optimistic for the future of our state. 

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi

Attorney General James Reaches Agreement with Verizon to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease


New York Attorney General Letitia James announced today that she has reached an agreement with Verizon to ensure that the company takes swift and comprehensive action to prevent the spread of Legionnaires’ disease in New York state. Legionnaires’ disease is often deadly and can be spread by poorly monitored or operated building cooling towers. An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that since 2017, there were at least 225 alleged violations of city and state laws at 45 of Verizon’s cooling tower locations throughout the state, with the company failing to conduct testing, address positive test results, and clean and inspect the cooling towers by required deadlines. As part of the agreement, Verizon will adopt official policies and procedures to ensure full, ongoing compliance with the law and pay a $118,000 penalty for the violations, which will be used by OAG to address the health impacts of air pollution.

“Legionnaires’ disease remains a deadly presence in areas across our state, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color,” said Attorney General James. “It is essential that companies such as Verizon are taking the necessary actions to avoid the spread of this preventable and lethal disease. This agreement will protect New Yorkers' public health and slow the spread of Legionnaires' disease.”

Legionnaires’ disease is a harmful form of pneumonia that is contracted by inhaling water droplets that contain Legionella bacteria. Symptoms of the disease include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, and muscle aches, and presents greatest risk for people 50 years of age or older, current or former smokers, and those with a chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems. Rooftop cooling towers, which are part of some buildings’ cooling systems, are considered a significant source of public exposure to Legionnaires’ disease. If not maintained and monitored properly, they can provide an ideal environment for the growth of Legionella and can expose and infect nearby communities due to the mist of water emitted into the air.

Between 200 and 800 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are diagnosed in New York state each year, although the actual number of infections may be higher as many go undiagnosed or unreported. New York City has seen a series of lethal outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in recent months, with 24 people infected in the Bronx, leading to two confirmed deaths and several hospitalizations. The Bronx previously experienced an outbreak in 2015 that sickened 120 people and led to at least 12 deaths. Following the 2015 outbreak, both the state and city adopted laws designed to prevent Legionella growth in cooling towers and required building owners to adhere to a suite of safety, maintenance, and reporting requirements related to their cooling towers, with civil penalties for non-compliance. 

In 2019, OAG began an investigation into several owners of cooling towers in New York state, including Verizon, that appeared to have significant gaps in reporting requirements under state law. The investigation revealed that since 2017, approximately 225 alleged violations of state and city cooling tower laws had occurred at approximately 45 buildings throughout New York state with cooling towers owned by Verizon. The company maintains and manages its cooling towers within the state through contractors and vendors. The violations identified at Verizon-owned buildings included alleged failures to timely test water samples from cooling towers for Legionella and other bacteria, failures to properly take corrective action in response to positive test results, and failures to timely complete cleaning, disinfection, and inspection of cooling towers. The OAG found several causes for the alleged violations, including disorganized accountability, communication and tracking failures, and a lack of central policies and procedures within the company. 

Under the agreement, Verizon must establish a range of practices and procedures that will increase accountability and tracking, including:

  •   Ensuring that building managers, whether Verizon employees or third-party contractors, report to and are accountable to environmental health and safety compliance personnel with regard to cooling tower compliance responsibilities;
  •   Maintaining a centralized tracking system for cooling tower compliance deadlines, including corrective action deadlines as they may arise;
  •   Notifying senior Verizon management about any violation at a cooling tower, or when any laboratory report is received showing Legionella or other bacteria test results above specified concentrations; and
  •   Performing an annual audit for compliance with these policies and procedures.

Additionally, the agreement requires Verizon to pay a penalty of $118,000 to be used by OAG to fund projects that prevent, abate, mitigate, or control air pollution or its health impacts.

The OAG’s investigation into other cooling tower owners in New York state for compliance with anti-Legionnaires’ disease laws is ongoing.



Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Arson

 Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for pouring lighter fluid into a bedroom window and then lighting it on fire. Inside the home was the mother of the defendant’s child and their infant child-in-common, as well as the victim’s father and his two minor children.

  District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant got into an argument the night before with one of the victims, the mother of his child, then lit their home on fire. Luckily no one inside the home was injured, which included an infant and two other children who were rescued by their adult relatives who pulled down the burning curtains and put the flames out with a bucket of water.”

 District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Kamal Kerr, 34, was sentenced June 2, 2022 to seven and a half years in prison by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Marsha Michael. The defendant pleaded guilty to third-degree Arson on May 5, 2022.

 According to the investigation, in the early morning hours of October 15, 2019, after getting into an argument with one of the victims the previous evening, the defendant went to the victims’ home at Bronx Boulevard in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx after picking up a jug of lighter fluid. He then went to the back of the home and poured the fluid into the bedroom window. Kerr then took debris from the backyard, ignited it, and left it in the window, starting the fire. The surrounding curtains erupted in flames while the family was inside the home.

 District Attorney Clark also thanked Fire Marshal Craig Gundersen and retired Fire Marshal Stephen Laureno from the FDNY Special Investigations Unit for their assistance in the investigation.

Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson - Juneteenth Flag Raising This Monday


Dear Neighbors,

We hope you will join us on Monday, June 6th at noon for our Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremony. The program will begin at noon followed by the flag-raising at 1 pm.

Location: 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY (Veteran`s Memorial Hall)

If you have any questions about this event, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 718-590-3500 or email us at
In partnership,
Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress Combating COVID-19 - JUNE 3, 2022

 COVID-19 test swab

Statewide 7-Day Average Case Rate Has Dropped Approximately 58 Percent Since Recent High

COVID-19 Hospital Admissions Down Nearly 20 Percent Over Last Week Versus Prior Seven Days

25 Counties Now Considered "Low" per CDC Community Level Map, Previously Just 9; NYC Moved to "Medium", Previously was "High"

Governor Encourages New Yorkers to Keep Using the Tools to Protect Against and Treat COVID-19: Vaccines, Boosters, Testing, and Treatment

22 Statewide Deaths Reported Yesterday

 Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19.

"While we continue to see numbers head in the right direction, we aren't letting our guard down when it comes to boosting our preparedness for any potential surges later this year," Governor Hochul said. "I encourage New Yorkers to keep using the tools we have available to us to keep each other safe and healthy. Be sure to keep up to date with vaccinations and booster doses to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious illness and hospitalization. Test often, especially if you are experiencing symptoms, and if you test positive, talk to your doctor about available treatments."

Today's data is summarized briefly below:    

  • Cases Per 100k - 40.31
  • 7-Day Average Cases Per 100k - 29.84
  • Test Results Reported - 128,887
  • Total Positive - 7,877
  • Percent Positive - 5.63%**
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 6.53%**  
  • Patient Hospitalization -  2,332 (-77)  
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 377 
  • Patients in ICU - 221 (+2) 
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation - 85 (+5)   
  • Total Discharges - 308,426 (+414)  
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 22 
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 56,151 

** Due to the test reporting policy change by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and several other factors, the most reliable metric to measure virus impact on a community is the case per 100,000 data -- not percent positivity.   

The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only.     

Important Note: Effective Monday, April 4, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is no longer requiring testing facilities that use COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to report negative results. As a result, New York State's percent positive metric will be computed using only lab-reported PCR results. Positive antigen tests will still be reported to New York State and reporting of new daily cases and cases per 100k will continue to include both PCR and antigen tests. Due to this change and other factors, including changes in testing practices, the most reliable metric to measure virus impact on a community is the case per 100,000 data -- not percent positivity.   

  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 71,670   

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.         

  • Total vaccine doses administered - 38,974,246  
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 17,279
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 100,522  
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose - 92.6%   
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series - 84.1%   
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 95.0%   
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 87.5%   
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 12-17 with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 83.7%   
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 12-17 with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 73.6%   
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 82.2%   
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 74.5%   
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 90.7%   
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 77.5%    
Each New York City borough's 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows **:   


Tuesday, May 31, 2022 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 

Thursday, June 2, 2022 









New York