BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
Some seniors in Astoria call the transformed Presbyterian Church of Astoria their new home.
During a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 15, John Kaiteris, the director for the Hellenic-American Neighborhood Action Committee, spoke about the long journey it has been to transform the Presbyterian Church of Astoria to 66 new, green units of affordable senior housing.
“With HANAC-PCA Senior Residence, not only can the building’s 90 seniors age in place gracefully, but also get the attention they deserve,” Kaiteris said.
HANAC and Enterprise Community Partners sought to transform the underutilized church after the PCA reached out to HANAC in 2005, stating financial difficulties.
Other partners to take part in the on-going process over the years to construct the new housing include the New York City Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York State Dept. of Homes and Community Renewal, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria), Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Development.
Lindsay Robbins, a representative from the New York State Energy Research and Department Authority, said the building received an Energy Star plaque because it is a multi-family building designed to work 20 percent better to reduce the energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
The six-story, $24 million building, located at 31-34 33rd St., was built after receiving funding from nine different sources, Kaiteris said.
According to Kaiteris more than 2,800 seniors are waiting their turn to also live in the new building, which he said is a testament to the overwhelming needs that exist in the community to provide safe and affordable senior housing.
William Baver, 65, a tenant living in HANAC-PCA for about a year, said it is a great building.
“I couldn’t ask for a better place to live,” he said.
The apartments are targeted to seniors who are 62 and above with an annual income at or below 50 percent of $29,050.
Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Tsakhuja13.