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New affordable senior housing

Jewish Home Lifecare debuted its newest residence for low-income senior citizens on Thursday, June 3. Those at the ribbon cutting were jubilant, as the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Gardens apartment building joined two others on the campus, located at West Kingsbridge Road and Webb Avenue, that provide affordable and comprehensive senior housing and assisted living care.

The ribbon cutting for the new 71-unit building at 2552 Webb Avenue included the posting of a mezuzah, performed by Rabbi Bonnie Steinberg. A mezuzah is an encased scroll of parchment affixed to the frame of a home’s front door in order to fulfill the Jewish mitzvah (“promise”) that people will inscribe the verses of the Shema on their doorway.

This was Jewish Home Lifecare’s third Housing and Urban Development Section 202 senior housing residence. Funding for the building project was provided in part by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the federal government’s 202 senior housing program, which provides subsidies for elders of modest means.

“It is imperative to provide seniors with a place they can call home and for them to know that quality healthcare is only a few steps away,” said Lynn Oberlander, chair of the Jewish Home Lifecare board of trustees, Bronx division. “The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Gardens will meet both those needs while being affordable for those with a limited income.”

According to Audrey Weiner, CEO of Jewish Home Lifecare, the project has been in the works for a number of years. It is built on what was a parking lot for the other facilities on the campus: Kittay House for moderate income seniors and The Gladstone, which is also for low-income people over 62 years of age. All three facilities share a common garden, allowing the residents to interact with one another. Weiner said that the new building will also allow seniors to “age in place,” or get more acute care all onsite as they become more frail and elderly.

“There were 222 people who applied,” Weiner said. “We will not only fill this building but have a significant waiting list. This only substantiates the massive need that exists for low-income senior housing in New York.”

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. The borough president’s office gave a grant of $500,000 to the project, which cost over $15 million in total. Diaz praised Jewish Home Lifecare for not cutting corners, and for being there for Bronxites as the ninth-largest employer in the borough. Councilman Fernando Cabrera also praised the project in a speech before the ribbon cutting. Joining in the celebration were Caryn Resnick, Department for the Aging deputy commissioner, and Teresa Bainton of HUD’s new york office.

“The fact is that seniors are looking for affordable, quality housing,” Diaz said. “It looks like money was well spent.”

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