Developers of a controversial South Slope SRO broke ground this week on a building that will house 48 low-income residents — including formerly homeless individuals and people with mental illnesses — in the midst of a gentrifying neighborhood.
The building, at the corner of 16th Street and Fifth Avenue, was once rejected by Borough President Markowitz on the grounds that the single-room-occupancy plan excluded low-income families. But at last Friday’s groundbreaking, the Beep was on hand to praise the development not to bury it.
“The mix worked out perfectly,” said Markowitz, who praised the developer, the Fifth Avenue Committee, for moving the front door from quiet 16th Street to Fifth Avenue.
When it is finished in early 2010, the building will also house low-income seniors, youths aging out of foster care, and individuals afflicted with HIV or AIDS.
The Fifth Avenue Committee said the building will be “affordable housing with on-site social support” for single men and women earning less than $29,775 per year — not a shelter or a rehab clinic.