The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of Lynn’s Place, the much anticipated first affordable mixed-income development created by Unique People Services (UPS) took place on May 11, 2018.
Ann Sullivan, Commissioner of NYS Office of Mental Health, Emily Lehman, Assistant Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Kristen Miller, Center from Supportive Housing, former NYC City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and Assemblyman and Vice Chair of the Democratic Party Michael Blake and various community stakeholders were in attendance. A special presentation was also made be made to key stakeholders as appreciation of their involvement in the project.
“As the Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction, I would like to thank Unique People Services for their commitment to supporting individuals with mental health conditions, said Councilperson Diana Ayala. “Mental health has been stigmatized in our communities for generations. This stigma, coupled with lack of resources in underserved neighborhoods, has caused people to go without treatment for far too long. She further stated, “that is why organizations such as Unique People Services are so important. “
Lynn’s Place, named after the organizations founder Lynn Wonsang provides homes for a mix of formerly homeless individuals and low-income families. During the event, a Lynn’s Place tenant shared, “I am grateful for the services provided by UPS—I finally have a home, where I can be myself and not worry about the negative stigma and effects of homelessness. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and it’s all because of UPS.”
The sentiment of the day echoed the role collaboration. “Everyone here today is a UPS champion and a true testament that the key to this new day in the history of our organization is collaboration. Collaboration and dedication to the people we serve today and tomorrow” stated Yvette B. Andre, Executive Director of Unique People Services. “This accomplishment would not be possible without the generosity of our partners and stakeholders. All of them are such great examples of what creative collaboration can achieve.”
Unique People Services provides vital resources to a wide range of programs and projects that are effective in the fight to end homelessness. Lynn’s Place is their first affordable mixed-income development and provides safe and affordable housing to individuals from all walks of life with varied circumstances.
Lynn’s Place features 69 units of housing, with 42 units of supportive housing for individuals with a mental illness and 27 units of affordable housing for individuals and families making less than 60% AMI. Lynn’s Place earned LEED for Homes v3 Gold certification from the US Green Building Council, as well as the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High-Rise label, demonstrating a commitment to providing efficient, healthy housing that is good for the environment and residents alike. The development also includes a community space on the ground floor, a sunken courtyard, and a landscaped back yard.
Residential services are provided through a NY/NY III contract from the NYS Office of Mental Health. Permanent financing, including grants, loans and tax credits, came from NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Resolution A funds, Capital One Bank, CSH, and the Community Preservation Corporation. Hudson Housing Capital is the syndicator for the tax credits. The architect is Tony Shitemi of Urban Architectural Initiatives and the contractor is Procida Construction Corp. Robert Sanborn of Robert Sanborn Development is the housing consultant.
About Unique People Services. Unique People Services, Inc. (UPS) is a New York-based nonprofit 501©3 that provides supportive housing and medical case management services to individuals and families living with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities and HIV/AIDS. The agency operates more than 24 supportive housing programs in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Westchester County.
More than 800 New Yorkers call UPS’ home, living in well-appointed residences where they receive meals and support services to help them achieve the highest possible levels of independent living and community inclusion. The transitional, long-term and permanent housing UPS provides has also become a safe haven for many formerly homeless individuals.
For more information about UPS, visit www.uniquepeopleservices.org.