Through a $1.75 million state grant recently obtained by State Senator Michael Balboni (R/C-Mineola), over $4.5 million has been leveraged for the creation of elderly housing in the unincorporated area of New Cassel. Awarded to the not-for-profit Anna and Philip Kimmel Foundation, who will develop the project, the funding will be used for the construction of Apex Senior Citizen's Housing, which will provide 37 new units for the elderly in the New Cassel community.
The architecturally significant building will be located on a one-acre site bounded by Union Ave., Grant, and Center Streets in New Cassel. Apex will consist of three floors, and will shelter 37 senior households, plus a superintendent.
Twenty-seven of the apartments will have one bedroom, and there will be five two-bedroom units serving the needs of 10, unrelated, but mutually supportive, persons. Two by two, they will form five "families of choice." Each sharer will have his or her own large bedroom, bathroom and separate refrigerators. "Through this innovative arrangement, we hope to prove how 10 seniors can improve their lives by replacing their constant loneliness with sharing and caring companions," explained Howard Kimmel, president and CEO of the Kimmel Foundation.
All apartments will be designed to produce both private and independent living. In addition to professional management, there will be a social service staff working to keep residents involved with living for as long as possible. Although Apex will not be a State Certified Health Related Facility, tenants are expected to avoid institutionalization for 5 to 6 years. When they are unable to take care of themselves, they will be required to relocate.
The building will provide expandable community space that will be used for tenant recreation, education and companionship purposes. Tenant selection and resident oversight will be the responsibility of Family and Children's Association, a Nassau County social service agency. FCA will aim to improve all aspects of tenant life at the Apex apartments. "On the whole," said Kimmel, "the building can be characterized as an environment, rather than just unrelated apartments."
Funding for the Apex project will be provided by the New York State Housing Trust Program (HTF) and the Low Income Housing Credit Program (LIHCP). The HTF, which provides state funding to help construct low-income housing and to rehabilitate vacant or under-utilized residential property, will provide $1,173,321 to the project. The LIHC Program, which provides dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal income tax liability for project owners in direct relation to the number of low-income housing units they produce, will contribute $580,574.
With the HTF Program and the LIHCP in place, tenant rents are expected to be quite affordable. Although exact rent has not been determined at this time, estimations are such that a one or two person senior household living in a one-bedroom apartment, having a maximum income of $26,000, would pay a monthly rent of $624, plus utilities. A one or two person senior household with a maximum income of $18,000 would pay a rent of $424 per month. In the case of the sharing "families of choice" in two-bedroom units, each senior, whose income is no more than $14,000 would pay a rent of $328.
"This partnership between public and private entities represents an investment in the future of New Cassel," said Balboni. "The APEX Senior Citizen's Housing project will create jobs, renew the community, contribute to the local tax base, and most importantly, assist the elderly in keeping their homes and maintaining their independence."
"When we started, we were told that we had only a 25 percent chance of getting funding," said Kimmel. "But Senator Balboni's involvement helped assure that the state approved the APEX Senior Housing Project. This housing initiative will provide a better way of living for the residents, foster community improvement, and bolster the local economy."