Seniors, Affordable Housing Advocates, and Gardeners Rally in Support of Haven Green




Alison Berg


Seniors, Affordable Housing Advocates, and Gardeners Rally in Support of Haven Green

Certification and public meeting kicks-off formal review process of plans for City-owned site to bring deeply affordable senior housing to Little Italy neighborhood

December 3rd, 2018—New York, NY—Development partners Pennrose, LLC, RiseBoro Community Partnership and Habitat for Humanity New York City (Habitat NYC), rallied with local seniors and supporters to announce that Haven Green, a 123-unit, deeply affordable, LGBTQ-friendly, senior housing development in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan, has been certified into the City of New York’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The certification is a significant milestone setting in motion a formal public review process preceding approval of the project located on the only piece of developable City-owned land in one of Manhattan’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

The Haven Green development team has been designated by New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to create 123 units of affordable housing for low-income seniors, including thirty-seven apartments reserved for formerly homeless seniors. The LGBTQ-friendly development will also include services specific to elderly LGBTQ residents and neighbors, with SAGE partnering with the development team to ensure Haven Green will be an LGBTQ-friendly environment.

The certification of Haven Green marks a particularly important milestone in the City’s ongoing effort to advance the stalled Obama-era “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rules and highlights the need for “high opportunity” neighborhoods to contribute more in tackling inequities in affordable housing development. Community Board 2 (CB2) is one of only two community districts in Manhattan in which the population is equal to or more than 75% white and the median home value in the neighborhood surrounding the site is nearly $2M. According to City data, only 93 new affordable units have been developed in all of CB2 since 2014, significantly less than other communities throughout the city. With approximately 200,000 seniors stagnating on waitlists for affordable housing in New York City, this project will provide desperately needed housing and services to the most vulnerable seniors in the neighborhood.

“Haven Green exemplifies Pennrose’s commitment to developing vibrant communities through high quality housing,” said Timothy I. Henkel, Principal and Senior Vice President, Pennrose. “The proposed development is an environmentally progressive, Passive House project that promises to create much-needed, deeply affordable housing for seniors. We are confident in putting this strong application into ULURP and look forward to sharing the merits of the project with the community.”

“Habitat NYC is dedicated to fair and equitable housing and we support all neighborhoods in their efforts to alleviate the affordability crisis and build stronger, more inclusive communities,” said Karen Haycox, CEO of Habitat for Humanity New York City. “This project will retain community accessible green space and bring 123-units of deeply affordable, LGBTQ-friendly, senior housing to a neighborhood that critically needs both. It is an ideal compromise that serves community needs and addresses citywide housing challenges. Habitat NYC is dedicated to expanding our work in this community and supporting the housing needs of New Yorkers for decades to come.”

“RiseBoro Community Partnership believes in using public resources to maximize community benefit and build a more equitable city. Haven Green accomplishes this by bringing deep affordability to an unaffordable neighborhood, supporting disenfranchised populations, and providing publically accessible open space,” said Scott Short, CEO, RiseBoro Community Partnership. “Our organization is rooted in empowering seniors to thrive, and we are excited to share the vision of Haven Green with local and City stakeholders, to help realize the dream of affordable housing for 123 seniors.”

Haven Green will include over 8,000 square feet of publicly accessible and open space designed and programmed through a community engagement process as well as onsite and community services provided by SAGE, RiseBoro Community Partnership and Habitat NYC.

Reflecting the need for sustainable development, Haven Green will serve as a model energy-efficient building. The project will be built to Passive House standards, reducing the building’s utility expense and carbon emissions, continuing the City’s commitment to green and climate-conscious initiatives. The building and the public open space will be designed to manage and reuse storm water through the use of permeable surfaces covering the majority of the open space and a rooftop rainwater harvesting system.

“The affordability crisis we are facing in New York City is real, and it demands immediate relief,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “The human cost of this crisis is evident by the over 200,000 seniors languishing on the waitlists for affordable housing. We cannot turn our backs on these seniors with promises of housing at another place, at another time. Haven Green will provide over 100 affordable senior housing units, with a partnership with SAGE that will guarantee that this housing will be attuned to the needs of LGBT seniors — the people who made up the Stonewall generation, led our city through the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, and fought for equal rights at City Hall. I thank Habitat for Humanity NYC, and all the advocates for open space and affordable housing for fighting for a more equitable New York in Little Italy and across our city.”

“Older adults in general, and LGBT older adults more specifically, desperately need access to affordable housing in New York City,” said Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE USA. “And our city’s LGBT elders deserve to live in housing that welcomes and affirms them for who they are. These are the reasons why SAGE strongly supports the Haven Green development.”

“LiveOn NY applauds Council Member Chin and all of those in support of this opportunity to ensure that older New Yorkers are able to age in their community with security, dignity and respect, a challenge for far too many given the housing crisis that currently exists across our city,” states Allison Nickerson, Executive Director at LiveOn NY. “This opportunity for 123 units of senior housing, as well as a significant amount of public space, will invigorate the community and support the seniors that will be lucky enough to call Haven Green home. The strong team of community-minded organizations including LiveOn NY members RiseBoro Community Partnership and SAGE, along with Pennrose Properties and Habitat for Humanity New York City will be a benefit to both tenants and the community at-large.”

Paul Nagle, Executive Director of Stonewall Community Development Corporation said, “We are excited to see Haven Green enter into the ULURP process and we urge everyone to support this project, which is committed to creating critically important LGBTQ-friendly senior housing in New York City.”

“The Cooper Square Committee supports the development of 123 units of senior housing at the Elizabeth Street site because of the urgent need for senior housing”, said Executive Director of The Cooper Square Committee, Steve Herrick. “The Haven Green plan provides a significant amount of open space for the community, and there are no other near term options for developing senior housing elsewhere in CB2, whereas there are 2 other large parcels, one on Hudson St. and one on Grand St., owned by NYC-DEP that could provide additional open space for residents.”

“We support Haven Green because it would be unconscionable to prioritize the privately-leased Elizabeth Street Garden over desperately-needed housing for LGBT seniors at risk of homelessness, especially with 7-acre Sara Roosevelt Park just two blocks away,” said Benjamin Carlos Thypin, a board member of Open New York.

Eric Diaz, Executive Director of Vision Urbana, Inc. said, “The Councilwoman’s dedication to building affordable housing for low income seniors, the majority of whom are communities of color representing Latino, Asian and African American seniors, is met with overwhelming support from Vision Urbana, Inc. Vision Urbana, Inc., was founded by Juan R. Cortes at the age of 65, a Lower East Side senior resident and pastor of the local Primitive Christian Church, who has fought for fair housing opportunities for residents for over 40 years. Vision Urbana, Inc. has remained committed to his energy and advocacy involving local elected officials to support our seniors of color. Vision Urbana, Inc. this year has expanded its senior services to now include an operating NORC senior program thanks to the support of councilwoman Chin, assisting senior residents with services that help them age in place and learn of opportunities for themselves to better their living situation. In addition to the NORC, hundreds of senior residents receive services through Vision Urbana’s Healthy Aging and Golden Age Senior Program where we assist seniors with housing applications and provide case assistance to support seniors so they have a chance to stay near the same communities they have raised their children in. The reality of the Lower East Side is that it is a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) in the face of rapidly developing condominiums and other projects that neglect to factor in the needs for our seniors to age healthy within Community District 1. We must never forget our seniors and fight to create opportunities for them in the Lower East Side.”

The site being City-owned land, the ULURP is required to ensure standardized procedures are conducted under definitive timelines for review of the project from the Community Board and Borough President as well as approvals from the City Planning Commission (CPC), City Council and Mayor.

As the first step of the ULURP, Community Board 2 has called a preliminary public hearing scheduled for December 5th to review the proposal prior to issuing their recommendation on the application

The development team also distributed a position statement recently published to the project website addressing calls from some local residents to build in an alternative neighborhood. The statement, participatory design report, and more information about Haven Green, its partners, supporters, vision statement and opportunities to get involved, please visit


About Pennrose LLC

With over 40 years’ experience as one of the largest providers of affordable housing in the United States and specialized experience in housing for seniors, Pennrose combines quality development and proven management to deliver exceptional lifestyle-centered homes that support and improve lives. For more information, please visit

About Habitat for Humanity New York City

Habitat for Humanity New York City transforms lives and communities by building affordable homes with families in need – and by uniting all New Yorkers around the cause of affordable housing. With the help of thousands of volunteers each year, Habitat NYC builds and preserves homes for families across the five boroughs. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @HabitatNYC.

About RiseBoro Community Partnership

Since 1973, RiseBoro Community Partnership has offered services designed to support every generation and meet the needs of communities. Our unique model of holistic community, revitalization works by developing neighborhood assets, like affordable housing, to create the foundation for a more vibrant and diverse community. We build upon this foundation with programs designed to connect people to resources to help everyone in the community thrive, especially our most vulnerable populations. This inclusive approach helps unleash the potential of the community and ensures that nobody is left behind in times of growth. Please visit for more information about each of our divisions and programs. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to stay abreast of updated information, events, and news.