Williamsburg seniors can now rest a little more comfortably.
The long serving tenant and affordable housing advocacy group, Southside United HDFC – Los Sures, announced the renovation of an almost hundred year-old building which for several years has provided affordable housing for the neighborhood’s senior citizens.
On Thursday, tenants and Los Sures representative were joined by officials, including Assemblyman Joe Lentol and Brooklyn Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the building located at 201 Roebling Street.
“The work that Los Sures does for the community is great,” said Lentol. “They help make the Southside a vibrant and culturally reflective place to live. At the same time, they provide the necessary services and housing to make sure people can stay in the neighborhood, for their whole lives if they want.”
Renovations to the building included remodeling within the 56 apartment units in the building; sprucing up the common are as aswell as the side yard adjacent to the building.
In addition, tenants worked with the non-profit, Groundswell, to create a mural in the main lobby that promotes an active lifestyle among seniors and encourages them to walk more and use the stairs when possible.
“It’s truly beautiful,” said Berta Jimenez, a tenant at 201 Roebling Street. “When you are old it is very depressing to live in a place that looks sad. This building now looks completely different- very joyful- and it makes me very happy.’”
Los Sures collaborated with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the New York State Housing Finance Agency, DesignAIDD architects, Chase Bank and the Richman Group on renovating the building.
The renovation comes at a time when Brooklyn constitutes the highest population of 60+ residents in the city – at just over 400,000.
Los Sures is now in the process of developing more affordable senior citizen housing with their eyes on creating such a facility at the former Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick.
“Affordable senior housing must be preserved in Brooklyn,” said Ramon Peguero, executive director of Los Sures. “The rehabilitation of 201 Roebling Street will help to prevent the displacement of senior residents due to gentrification in the area and improve its tenants’ quality of life.”