HIGHBRIDGE — Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz broke ground on a $20 million affordable housing complex for low-income seniors Thursday morning.
The seven-story Artsbridge senior complex on Plimpton Avenue near West 172nd Street will provide apartments for 61 seniors and house a 19,000-square-foot community space that will be the permanent home for the Highbridge Voices choir. It is expected to be completed in 2016.
“This is real progress, these are things that are happening in real time, right now, that are starting the engine that are going to produce a huge amount of affordable housing for the people of this city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the groundbreaking. “This Artsbridge project is so inspiring, it’s a great example of public-private partnership.”
The project was funded by federal, state and city funds on city-owned land, according to the mayor.
The Catholic Archdiocese of New York will help manage the construction project.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan said the church’s commitment to housing goes back to its founding.
“There was no housing, no place for the son of God to be born,” Dolan said. “That I reckon is why Jesus is so sensitive about the homeless.”
The mayor’s office is projecting they will have financed more than 16,000 affordable units by Dec. 31, and are on track to create 200,000 units within 10 years.
“So many people are hoping and praying they can stay in the neighborhood they love around their friends and family,” de Blasio said. “Neighborhoods they helped to make great. So we knew we had to do something bolder than ever before.”