Catholic Charities has unveiled a new senior housing complex in East New York
The Our Lady of Loreto Church stood for nearly 100 years in the Brownsville community as a house of worship. On Thursday, it was debuted as the brand new Pope Francis Apartments at Loreto – a new affordable housing complex for senior citizens.
“This project, and our being here today, is really a testimony to the fact that the church is not a museum, but a living organism,” Reverend Robert Brennan, the Bishop of Brooklyn, said. “The needs of the church change as the needs of the neighborhood change, over time. And so we’ve gone through cycles, and we’ve had to make changes and, and yet, something lifegiving always seems to emerge. And that’s what we have here today; we see this place transformed here.”
The units at 2377 Pacific Street will offer 135 apartments to seniors and formerly homeless seniors. 60 percent of the units will be supportive housing while the other 40 percent will be deemed as affordable independent residences for seniors, or AIRS units. The AIRS units will be pegged at up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income while the other units are supported with a rental subsidy through the Empire State Supporting Housing initiative.
The eight-story building will also feature 24-hour security, laundry facilities, rooftop solar panels and more. These services, as well as case management services, will be provided to residents by Catholic Charities.
Monsignor Alfred LoPinto took the occasion to remind attendees that the mission of the Pope Francis apartments is greatly tied to the pope’s dedication to the elderly.
“Pope Francis urges everyone to protect and nourish the elderly, stating: ‘let us protect them so that nothing of their lives and dreams may be lost. May we never regret that we were insufficiently attentive to those who loved us….’ That is why it is so fitting to me today to name this beautiful residence after Pope Francis,” Monsignor Alfred LoPinto said. “Inside these walls, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens will be able to protect older adults and alleviate their difficulties, just as Pope Francis asked us to do. We ensure that they do not feel alone by attending to their needs”