Amityville, NY September 29, 2014 – Concern for Independent Living, a leading nonprofit provider of housing, held a Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening Ceremony today to celebrate the opening of Liberty Village, a 60 unit supportive housing development for veterans and their families in Amityville, Suffolk County, Long Island.
“Concern [for Independent Living] is pleased to celebrate the opening of Liberty Village, the first project of its kind on Long Island,” said Ralph Fasano, Executive Director of Concern for Independent Living. “This project is the result of unprecedented collaboration among Federal, state and local leaders, all of whom understand that ending Veteran homelessness on Long Island will take a concerted effort using all of the resources available in the best manner possible. We are grateful for their assistance.”
The project is located on the site of the former North Amityville Armed Forces Reserve Center site. Concern for Independent Living acquired the site through the Base Closure Community Redevelopment and Homelessness Act of 1994, which provides local communities the opportunity to take over closed military bases to give special consideration to the needs of the homeless.
Liberty Village was made possible by the strong collaboration of Federal, State and Local governments. The support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the Long Island Regional Economic Council, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer made this housing possible.
“The grand opening of Liberty Village is great news for Long Island veterans, who willingly risked life and limb for our country,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “One homeless veteran is one too many, and now 60 vets and their families will thankfully be provided with a comfortable place to live. This new housing complex has been a long time coming, and we overcame many obstacles to get here, but I am so thrilled that Liberty Village is finally opening its doors and I’m thankful to Concern for Independent Living for seeing this project to fruition.”
“It is great to see Liberty Village becoming a reality,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Liberty Village will be a supportive housing development for veterans and their families. It is a welcome addition to Amityville, and will be an example of how to do it right that can be replicated across New York and our country. Veterans and their families have sacrificed for all of us and we owe them for their incredible service.”
“Liberty Village takes a significant stop in addressing the pervasive problem of veteran homelessness, and should serve as a model for future efforts. The level of intergovernmental cooperation, in conjunction with private sector was exemplary. Congratulations to all involved, and especially the veterans and their families who will benefit,” said Assemblyman Bob Sweeney.
“I applaud everyone who has been involved in making Liberty Village a reality, most notably those at Concern for Independent Living,” said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “Our nation’s veterans have given a great deal to this nation so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we cherish on a daily basis. We owe it to them to see that they and their families have a roof over their heads and beds to sleep in. Liberty Village provides vital services to our veterans and will help us continue our mission to provide them with the utmost care.”
In 2011, a total of $785 million was awarded through New York State’s Consolidated Funding Application for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. As part of that process, Concern for Independent Living was awarded more than $1.25 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, which generated more than $13 million in tax credit equity, as well as financing from a variety of public and private partners.
Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “New York’s veterans deserve to live in comfortable, affordable homes with the support services they need to live independent lives. Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, we are working with partners at all levels of government and the private sector, investing in developments like Liberty Village, and finding strategic, innovative ways to address the problem of homelessness among our veterans. Congratulations to Concern for Independent Living and to the veterans and their families who will have a new place to call home.”
“Liberty Village is providing a place to live and, equally importantly, services that can help veterans who have honorably served our country address the underlying issues that have contributed to them being homeless,” said OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud. “Supportive housing is an essential step in assisting families and individuals facing issues such as mental illness, physical disability, and alcohol and drug dependency, to build foundations for a better future.”
“Liberty Village is a brilliant example of how we can effectively combine form and function to meet the affordable housing needs of deserving veterans,” commented Todd Gomez, Northeast Region Executive of Bank of America. “The development will offer its tenants comprehensive support services in a beautiful setting that is the trademark of apartment communities developed by Concern for Independent Living. Bank of America is proud to have provided over $24MM in construction financing and equity investment to help make Liberty Village available to formerly homeless veterans across the New York metro region.”
“Today we celebrate the opening of Liberty Village and Concern for Independent Living’s power to change people’s lives for the better through another innovative and high-quality affordable housing development,” commented Joe Hagan, president and CEO of National Equity Fund, the LIHTC syndicator for the development. “At NEF we believe that extraordinary things happen when you have great partners and both Concern and Bank of America are ideal examples of that conviction.”
Liberty Village is one of several projects undertaken by Concern for Independent Living and partnering non-profit agencies to end homelessness amongst veterans on Long Island. The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless will administer a 40,000 sq. ft. building adjacent to Liberty Village that will house a variety of non-profit agencies working towards eliminating Veteran Homelessness in our region.
“Concern for Independent Living is an innovative, results oriented organization that has demonstrated their commitment to ending veteran homelessness,” said Phillip Moschitta, Director of the VA Medical Center at Northport. “They are a significant partner agency, and have been working closely with Northport VA Medical Center staff to provide quality services and housing to Veterans in need.”
Concern for Independent Living would like to thank Knockout Pest Control of Long Island for generously donating one year of free pest control services for Liberty Village.