Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC) is a leading provider of housing and services to New York City’s neediest, helping over 8,000 individuals each year develop the tools to move from homelessness and hopelessness to health and self-sufficiency. Founded in 1971, BRC has grown to now operate 30 programs throughout the greater metropolitan area. BRC’s programmatic continuum includes more than 2,500 units of transitional and permanent housing; workforce development, outreach, and day treatment programs; and substance abuse and medical services. BRC has a widely recognized reputation for using data to develop innovative, replicable, and evidence-based approaches that effectively address the related challenges of homelessness and affordable housing, creating models such as the Safe Haven, and more recently, the groundbreaking HomeStretch model at Landing Road.
Landing Road co-locates a homeless shelter with permanent housing and creatively utilizes the financing to create deeply affordable housing. BRC negotiated a long-term shelter contract with the New York City Department of Homeless Services and uses the rental income to lower the rents in the permanent housing portion, essentially creating a cross-subsidy for its tenants. Studios rent for under $500, less than half the current fair market rent in New York City. In 2015, Trinity made a Program Related Investment (PRI) to provide early capital for pre-development, and the PRI was fully repaid when construction started.
Opened in 2018, Landing Road includes 200 new shelter beds and 135 permanent housing units that are truly affordable. From March 2020 to February 2021, more than 2,300 people were housed per night; more than 500 individuals received substance abuse treatment; and almost 700 people moved into more independent housing. In addition, the building enabled BRC to expand its workforce training program for homeless individuals.
Trinity’s early involvement in this project helped lead the way towards a model for future affordable housing developments that demonstrates a smarter way of allocating existing resources. BRC has since raised more than $4 million to support further real estate development activities through a revolving pool of working capital, called the Way Home Fund. BRC is currently working to replicate this model at a new project that will comprise 88 units of permanent supportive housing, 58 units of affordable housing, and a 200-bed mental health shelter for women. BRC anticipates beginning the construction of the facility in January 2022.