Senior housing lottery coming up

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The new Surf Gardens housing development in Coney Island catering exclusively to low−income senior citizens will be ready to accept residents by 2010, this newspaper has learned. The seven−story development, now taking shape between West 31st and 32nd streets at Surf Avenue, will offer residents age 62 and older 77 units of new housing through a lottery system.

City Councilmember Domenic Recchia and the non−profit group New York Foundation for Senior Citizens (NYFSC) are expected to make an announcement about the availability of the new units within the next couple of weeks.

“These are things that are happening −− these aren’t promises,” Recchia told residents gathered at the United Community Baptist Church on Mermaid Avenue last week. “We studied the community and saw what the need was. It didn’t have to be affordable.”

The New York Foundation for Senior Citizens currently provides over 800 units of housing and 35 social service programs for elderly residents citywide. Cumberland Gardens at 425 Cumberland Street and Atlantic Avenue offers low−income senior citizens in Fort Greene 105 units of subsidized housing.

The new Surf Gardens complex in Coney Island will offer senior citizens 11 studio and 65 one−bedroom apartments. The maximum allowable income for single senior citizens applying for a spot in the new building is $26,900, and $30,700 for couples.

“We’re thrilled that we can provide the highest quality housing and services to the community,” NYFSC President Linda Hoffman said. “It’s really very special having a building located in such a perfect spot only one block from the ocean.”

When Surf Gardens debuts next year, it will have 24−hour security, keyless locks and a TV monitoring system to safeguard residents. A full−time social worker will also be on staff. The NYFSC is also joining with nearby Coney Island Hospital to provide residents with medical and psychiatric services. Group programming, including gardening activities, will also be offered.

The NYFSC has been working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the last six years to make Surf Gardens a reality.

Updated 3:32 pm, October 19, 2011
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