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Woodhull apartment building will house below-market tenants, mental-health patients

The Brooklyn Paper
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Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Woodhull Hospital plans to erect an apartment building on its grounds where community members and mental-health patients will live under one roof — and a local panel thinks it is a great idea.

Community Board 3 last week voted 33–1 with one abstention to approve the six-story below-market-rate apartment building at the corner of Throop and Park avenues.

Psychiatric patients who have been treated at Woodhull will live independently in the building while continuing to use the hospital’s mental health services. The patients, referred by Woodhull psychiatrists, will take up 53 of the structure’s 89 studio apartments, while the rest of the units will be set aside as below-market housing for other community members.

The apartments will go for $907 a month — but the state’s Office of Mental Health will foot part of the bill for the psychiatric patients.

The building will also house a community center for both tenants and neighborhood residents.

Woodhull is partnering with supportive-housing organization Comunilife on the project. The outfit already runs a facility in the Bronx that houses both special-needs tenants and seniors, and another that caters to homeless and mentally-ill tenants alongside seniors, and the company claims the shared model works.

“We’ve actually found it to be a tremendously successful model,” said Ellen Kackmann, Comunilife’s vice president of real estate. “It really shows how there are opportunities to have mixed communities and how they can work really successfully instead of isolating populations.”

The city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation will now have to approve the plan, though the agency’s head honcho is already giving the idea an unofficial bill of clean health.

“Stable housing is important to our patients’ health as well as their educational opportunities, employment, and personal relationsh­ips,” said Dr. Ram Raju. “We are very pleased to work with Comunilife to bring stable, affordable, and supportive housing to patients in Brooklyn.”

If all goes according to plan, construction will kick off next fall and should wrap up in the fall of 2018.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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