NEW YORK – Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the $24.8 million Liberty Landing apartments in Ronkonkoma, Suffolk County. The 59-unit supportive housing project, operated by Concern for Independent Living, offers residential based support services to formerly homeless veterans, in addition to affordable housing for low income Long Island families.
“Every New Yorker deserves access to affordable housing is and our administration is committed to ensuring that every resident has the opportunity for a safe and decent place to call home,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project brings us another step closer toward helping vulnerable New Yorkers live with dignity and independence and building a more sustainable Long Island for all.”
The grand opening of Liberty Landing builds on the $21.6 million the Governor recently announced to create 265 supportive homes for homeless Veterans and their families. This is part of a $10 billion commitment to build affordable housing and combat homelessness.
Located at 55 Portion Road, between the central business district and Lake Ronkonkoma, Liberty Landing will provide 30 formerly homeless veterans with apartments and offer 28 affordable apartments to low income Long Island families who meet specific income thresholds, ranging from 30 percent to 51 percent of area median income. The development also includes a community building which features an exercise room, a computer room and a room for community gatherings.
Liberty Landing offers 40 one-bedroom apartments, 15 two-bedroom apartments, and 3 three-bedroom apartments, as well as one unit for the superintendent of the development. On-site programming will be offered by Concern for Independent Living to help residents live healthy and productive lives. Residents will find assistance with the behavioral health, medical, vocational, and social services they need to live successful lives in the community.
To support this project, the New York State Office of Mental Health provided a $252,960 program development grant, and $7,500,000 in interest-free construction financing and debt service, New York State Homes and Community Renewal contributed $13,257,878 in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance allocated $2,762,865 via the Homeless Housing Assistance Program. Liberty Landing also received $750,000 from Suffolk County and $312,135 in funding from the Concern for Independent Living.
New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Supporting those who served our country is both our duty and our privilege. As part of Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented expansion of supportive and affordable housing, Liberty Landing will serve as a resource for New York State’s Veterans and provide them with the assistance they need to find health, success and recovery. I wish all of Liberty Landing’s future tenants the best and I thank our partners for helping to make this day a reality!”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James Rubin said, “Too many Veterans—whose valor and sacrifice have resulted in the freedom we all enjoy—struggle with homelessness and instability. As we approach Veterans Day, it is fitting we take this opportunity to provide access to apartments and support services for Veterans in need. This development will allow people to live safely, independently, and affordably in their community. Liberty Landing is an example of Governor Cuomo’s continued commitment to addressing the root causes of homelessness and leading the effort to meet the housing needs of all New Yorkers.”
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, “This is another example of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to providing opportunities to low-income families and veterans to whom we owe so much. We know that the housing and services the tenants receive as a result of projects like this will have a long-term, positive impact on their lives.”
Dormitory Authority of the State of New York President and CEO Gerrard Bushell said, “DASNY is proud to have monitored every phase of construction on this project. We know it is not just what you build, but who you build it for, and this development provides our heroes a place worthy of being called their home “.
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “Supporting our veterans must always be one of our highest priorities. These brave men and women, who willingly and selflessly put their lives on the line while defending our country, deserve nothing but the highest quality of life and care once they return home. This includes access to affordable housing, especially here on Long Island, where the cost of living is so high.”
Senator Thomas D. Croci, Chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs Committee said, “It has been a pleasure to work with Concern for Independent Living and other advocacy agencies to address homelessness in our region, which is much more serious than many realize. It is especially fitting that the Liberty Landing project will offer Long Island’s homeless veterans, and their families, safe and affordable housing, as well as access to the social services they may need.”
Assemblyman Al Graf said, “It is important to give our veterans a hand up in times of trouble. These men and women who selflessly volunteered to protect the freedoms we hold dear, sometimes return with both physical and non-visible scars from their deployments. This project is a step in the right direction in honoring a commitment to our returning veterans.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “Liberty Landing represents yet another successful collaboration between governmental agencies and the not-for-profit sector. The creation of affordable housing for veterans and low-income families is needed within our region and the additional on-site resources to serve formally homeless veterans is truly an added benefit to those who are in need of the services. I thank Governor Cuomo and all of the partnering organizations for making this project a reality.”
Concern for Independent Living Executive Director Ralph Fasano said, “We have been very fortunate to have the support of Governor Cuomo and the three state agencies that helped make Liberty Landing a reality. Together with Suffolk County, NEF, Bank of America and The Community Preservation Corporation we have created housing that matches the pride that we have for the Veterans who have served our country.”
Liberty Landing is an example of housing solutions which will continue to be created to combat homelessness and expand access to affordable housing in New York State. Last month, Governor Cuomo directed New York State Division of the Budget Director Robert Mujica to execute a memorandum of understanding to release $2 billion in funding to advance the creation of more than 100,000 units of affordable and supportive housing over the next five years. The executed agreement is now before the New York State Senate and Assembly for action.