Bronx, NY Jericho Project, a leading non-profit ending homelessness at its roots in NYC, and B&B Urban, a long-time developer of affordable and supportive housing, joined state senator Gustavo Rivera; Dr. Herminia Palacio, deputy mayor of health and human services; Human Resources Administration (HRA) commissioner Steven Banks; Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) commissioner Maria Torres-Springer; New York City Department of Veterans’ Services commissioner Loree Sutton, MD, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret.); New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance commissioner Samuel Roberts, and other key government and private sector partners to open the $35.6 million Walton House, the new home for 89 formerly homeless veterans and young adult.
Walton House is New York City’s first supportive housing development to open under mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC 15/15 Initiative to provide 15,000 units of supportive housing over 15 years.
The 10-story development, located at 2065 Walton Ave., in the University Heights section, has 89 apartments –56 are reserved for veterans and 33 for young adults, 40% of whom identify as LGBTQ. Walton House is Jericho’s eighth supportive housing development and part of a visionary strategy to reduce homelessness among veterans, families and young adults. Each year, Jericho serves over 2,500 adults and children, which include 750 veterans with housing, homelessness prevention, and workforce development.
Designed by MHG Architects, Walton House features an interior that includes a WiFi lounge, two community rooms, laundry facilities, a fitness/exercise center, library nook and an outdoor garden.
On-site resident support from Jericho employees includes career counseling, job placements, mental health services, and recreational activities.
Jericho Project CEO Tori Lyon, who served on the Mayor’s Supportive Housing Task Force said, “For 35 years, Jericho has worked to end homelessness in New York City. We are proud to continue that tradition under the Mayor’s housing plan to reduce street and shelter homelessness with the opening of Walton House. We thank B&B Urban, Wells Fargo, and our partners at the city, state and federal levels, as well as our staff, board of directors, and others who helped make this project a reality. I look forward to the future happiness of our residents, who for many in the first time in their lives now have a place to call their own.”
“Completing Walton House has taught us that developing high quality affordable housing for New Yorkers in need remains a very difficult but rewarding challenge,” said Alan Bell, Principal of B & B Urban, which is committed to developing supportive housing throughout the City for individuals and families.
“Walton House will not only provide our homeless veterans and young adults in the Bronx, including those who identify as LGBTQ, with a real affordable place to live, but it will also connect them to the necessary supportive services that will help them on their path to self-sustenance and stability,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I commend Jericho Project, the Mayor’s administration, and every other partner involved in this great project for helping New Yorkers thrive.”
“As a doctor and proud daughter of the Bronx, it is my great privilege to be part of the opening of Walton House. The supportive housing model is incredibly effective in providing vulnerable people struggling with housing stability with the services they need to regain control of their lives,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “Each one of these 89 new apartments represents a sustainable opportunity for the veterans and youth that will live in them to be healthy and thrive. We will continue to work to achieve our goal to create thousands more of these units for New Yorkers in need in the coming years.”
“Projects like Walton House are a crucial component of our efforts to turn the tide on homelessness and make New York the fairest big city in the nation,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “This new home for formerly homeless individuals, low-income veterans and young adults represents the kind of partnership we need to address the housing affordability and homelessness challenges in our city, and we are proud to be a part of this initiative.”
“This administration has made a significant commitment to create more supportive housing, one of the most effective solutions to help individuals struggling with homelessness get back on solid ground. Walton House is the first supportive housing project to be completed under the Mayor’s 15/15 Initiative to build 15,000 units of supportive housing over 15 years, and provides 89 brave veterans and LGBTQ young adults with safe and secure permanent homes to build a foundation for the future,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I thank the team at Project Jericho and B&B Supportive for their partnership in providing stability to some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers and a warm welcome home to the residents of Walton House.”
“The work to end veteran homelessness in New York is a story about partnerships - between city, state and federal agencies, and between our nonprofit and private sector partners,” said NYC Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner Loree Sutton, MD, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret.). “Today we celebrate one of our most stalwart partners, Jericho Project, and their partner B&B, for the 89 beautiful new homes they created for homeless veterans and youth.”
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel Roberts said, “The Walton House provides much-needed supportive housing to the Bronx community, in particular to veterans and young adults. With this development, 89 former homeless individuals will not only live in a safe and clean home, but be surrounded by key supportive services that will help them grow and thrive.”
“Access to affordable housing continues to be a challenge in New York, and vulnerable populations like low-income veterans, young adults and individuals who identify as LGBTQ are at a higher risk of ending up homeless. This new project, which will make 89 apartments and state of the art facilities in the Bronx available to specifically help these two populations at the new Walton House, is the first supportive housing development under Mayor DeBlasio’s NYC 15/15 Initiative. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Jericho Project for joining efforts to make this project a reality; we all look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our community,” said Congressman José Serrano.
“No one deserves to sleep on sidewalks or be forced to shuffle from shelter to shelter, especially veterans and young people,” said State Assemblyman Victor Pichardo. “The Walton House in the University Heights neighborhood of the Bronx is a step forward in combating the affordable housing and homelessness crisis our city is facing. It will give some of the brave men and women who’ve served our nation a safe, stable place to live, as well as provide housing for LGBTQ young adults, who all too often face discrimination and bigotry just being who they are. I commend everyone involved in this effort including Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Jericho Project.”
The Walton House opening included representatives of the Veterans Administration and NYC Office of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Authority, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and representatives from Wells Fargo, Citi and The Home Depot among other supporters, partners and residents celebrating the grand opening of Walton House.
“NYCHA is proud to support this project by providing housing subsidy through the Project-Based Section 8 program,” said NYCHA Executive Vice President for Leased Housing Lakesha Miller. “No one will pay more than 30% of their income and it will preserve affordable housing for generations, especially for our veterans and young adults who most need our help.”
“Having a home to call one’s own is a remarkable feeling, and for 35 years, Jericho Project has endeavored to make this a reality for thousands of New Yorkers in need,” said José R. González, president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. “The FHLBNY was proud to partner with our member, M&T Bank, to provide an Affordable Housing Program grant to Walton House, and we are honored to have the opportunity to support Jericho’s vital mission.”
“Ending the homeless crisis in New York requires a commitment to supportive housing. This team, led by Jericho Project and B&B Urban and with several public sector and private sector partners working together, has that commitment. Wells Fargo is proud to be a part of the team bringing Walton House to the Bronx,” said Gary Vizioli, Vice President in Community Lending & Investment at Wells Fargo Bank.
“The Jericho Project has been a resolute partner in the effort to end veteran homelessness. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is thrilled to support this facility, along with HUD-VASH’s case management support for the Veterans who will reside here. The Jericho Project, with decades of experience, truly understands and respects the needs of veterans. They help veterans to live their lives to the fullest, as integrated members of the community, through innovative programming that promotes independence and self-determination. Walton House will give veterans the ability to live in dignity, which they deserve, and we are proud to be a partner in this effort,” said Julie Irwin, Homeless Care Line Manager, VA NY/NJ Health Care Network.
“Homeless and at-risk Veterans need more than just a place to live they need access to support services that facilitate their long-term social and economic stability,” Natalie Abatemarco, Managing Director of Citi Community Development and Citi Inclusive Finance said. “By collaborating with Local Initiative Support Corporation on the Bring Them Homes initiative, we aim to expand access to affordable and inclusive housing for Veterans like the Walton House.”
“We are proud to have partnered with Jericho on Walton House, investing $1.75MM in CSH early-stage acquisition and predevelopment funding,” said Jennifer Trepinski, CSH Director of Loan Originations. “Walton House is opening its doors to house a variety of New Yorkers who need it, including vulnerable youth and veterans. In line with Jericho’s strong track record as a responsible supportive housing provider, Walton House offers beautiful homes that will provide stability and dignity to people who are working hard to move their lives forward.”