A $1.5 million agreement will convert the long-closed WestHelp homeless shelter on Westchester County property in Greenburgh adjacent to Westchester Community College into 54 units of affordable housing for seniors.
Under the terms of the deal, two affiliates of the Marathon Development Group – Mayfair Housing and Mayfair Housing Development Fund Company – will lease the six-acre property from Westchester County for 65 years for the purpose of rehabilitating and operating 54 rental apartments for low and moderate income seniors ages 62 and older.
Seniors who meet the age and income criteria for the homes will be selected on the basis of a lottery. The income restrictions are: 60 percent of the units will be for seniors with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI); 20 percent of the units are for seniors with incomes at or below 50 percent of the AMI and the remainder are for seniors with incomes at or below 90 percent of the AMI.
At 60 percent of the AMI, a single senior can earn up to $46,800, and a two-person household can earn up to $53,520 to be eligible for an apartment.
Discussions among the stakeholders involved in converting the former shelter into affordable housing for seniors – the County, the Town of Greenburgh, Marathon Development Group, the Mayfair-Knollwood Civic Association, and the Valhalla School District – have been ongoing for years. A framework acceptable to all the parties emerged about a year ago and the time since has been spent working out the legal and operational details.
The senior complex is expected to have minimal, if any, impact on the surrounding neighborhood and the local school district. While the homeless shelter, which had been in operation on the site from 1991 to 2011, had 108 units, the number of senior units will be half that, which honors a decades-old agreement to reduce the number of units following the closing of the shelter. In addition, the lease requires Mayfair to bring eviction proceedings against any occupants who don’t meet the age criteria of 62 and above.
The property is owned by Westchester County and had been leased to Greenburgh. To make way for the senior development, Greenburgh is terminating its lease in return for the $600,000 payment. The remaining $900,000 payment will go to the county.
Mayfair has committed to making $6 million in repairs and capital improvements within three years. Residential work includes restructuring the 108 original studio units into 54 larger apartments – 26 with two bedrooms and 28 with one bedroom, as well as renovations of kitchens, bathrooms, and floors. Plans for the original administration building include office areas, sitting and reading rooms, a computer and learning center and a laundry room in the basement. The buildings will be wired for cable television.