By Emily Drooby
Lack of affordable housing a New York City complaint as common as late subway trains, but on Jan. 9 Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens dug into the problem by breaking ground on what will soon become 135 affordable apartments for low-income seniors.
The future eight-story building – called the Loreto Apartments – will have 24 hours security, a fitness room and will be considered a green building, meaning it’ll be environmentally responsible.
It’s being built on the spot where Our Lady of Loreto Church once stood, taken down because it was in terrible need of repair.
This project is part of an effort born in Rome, where Catholics and Buddhists work together for the common good, explained Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.
“Well today’s kinda the success story of this inter-religious commitment to do something for the elderly poor,” he said.
Buddhists helped pitch and support the plan, and then came to the groundbreaking
“It’s a great joy to be able to stand here and say the tradition of Loreto is going to continue. It will be senior housing, it will be a community center and it will again provide those very needed services just like the parish did,” explained Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, CEO of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens.
With this major step, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens will offer even more affordable housing to those in need. They’re already one of the largest providers in the nation with over 4,300 units.
“We are anxious to continue,” said Msgr. Lopinto, who noted that the new building will fill a serious void: over 200,000 seniors in New York City are in need of affordable housing.
Members of the community are anxious, too.
“Every day we are seeing people evicted from their homes, the rents continue to rise to levels they cannot afford,” explained Rafael Espinal, a Brooklyn Democrat on the New York City Council.
“It makes me feel good and I hope I get one of them,” said one Brooklyn resident.