LEVITICUS FUND - Faith Capital for Building Communities A community development fund for socially-responsive investors

News & Events> Creating Homes to End Veteran Homelessness

A shared goal to end homelessness among military veterans on Long Island, New York took a critical step forward as work begins on a new 59-unit affordable and supportive housing project in Lake Ronkonkoma.

Concern for Independent Living, Inc., a nonprofit provider of supportive housing on Long Island, is developing the $24.7 million project and will serve as manager and on-site provider of social services once construction is completed. The project entails construction of eight one-story and two-story townhome-styled buildings that will be rented to homeless veterans with psychiatric disabilities, as well as low income families and individuals. A community center equipped with a computer room and a community room is included in the project, plus outdoor recreational space.  

The proposed 59-unit affordable housing project in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y. 

 

The Leviticus Fund, with a $735,624 loan approved in October, is one of several capital sources for the project’s construction phase, which includes $7.5 million in financing from the New York State Office of Mental Health and $11.25 million in financing from Bank of America.

The Lake Ronkonkoma site is Concern’s most recent project to tackle the critical need for affordable rental housing for veterans on Long Island. In September of this year, Concern opened 60 units of supportive housing for homeless veterans and their families in Amityville.

Both the Amityville facility and now the Lake Ronkonkoma project are aligned with Concern’s collaborative work with the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless and other local nonprofits to end veteran homelessness on Long Island by December 2015. The Long Island initiative was inspired by the 2011 directive from President Obama and the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to end veteran homelessness within five years. Prior to creating the Long Island 100-day Work Plan, a number of local agencies attended an intensive training from the Rapid Results Institute and the 100,000 Homes Campaign, which encourages greater collaboration among housing advocates and accelerated permanent housing placement for a community’s most vulnerable, especially chronically homeless veterans.

It is estimated that between 2013 and 2015, 748 homeless veterans will need housing on Long Island. The Long Island effort has already placed 125 homeless veterans in permanent housing since August of 2013, plus an additional 106 family members.

“A safe, affordable place to call home goes a long way to promote the dignity and confidence of an individual, especially someone who has experienced the fear of being homeless,” said Greg Maher, Executive Director of the Leviticus Fund. “Leviticus applauds the efforts of Concern to tackle this critical issue of homelessness among veterans and to work collaboratively with other local agencies to create a more comprehensive safety net for those in need.”

With construction underway, the project's completion is expected in February 2016. 

Of the 59 units slated for development in the Lake Ronkonkoma project, 40 will be one-bedroom apartments available for those at the most vulnerable income levels of 30% and 50% of area median income (AMI). Based on Suffolk County’s median income, an individual at 30% AMI earns $22,100 annually and a couple earns $25,250. Individuals at 50% AMI income earn $36,800 and couples earn $42,050.

Thirty of the one-bedroom units will be for homeless veterans with psychiatric disabilities earning 30% of AMI or less. The balance of the one-bedroom units will be rented to individuals or couples at the 50% AMI level. The additional ten units are a mix of two- and three-bedroom apartments and will all serve households at the 50% AMI level. One of the two-bedroom units will be reserved for an on-site superintendent.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to work with a not-for-profit lender like the Leviticus Fund who shares our passion for supportive housing,” said Ralph Fasano, Executive Director of Concern.

 

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