MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. – Prospective tenants for three affordable rental apartments in the newly-constructed Freedom Homes at Freedom Gardens for the Handicapped were narrowed down to 36 Saturday with a lottery drawing.
Freedom Gardens provides independent living for physically-challenged adults and their families on a five-acre site at 1680 Strawberry Road. The not-for-profit corporation has been around since the mid-1960s and currently has 10 other tenants.
Gary Kleiber of Cortlandt Manor, a vice president of Freedom Gardens, spearheaded the plans for the new 3,300 square-foot one-story structure that will house the new apartments, a large community room, and an outside garden patio.
Alan Gordon, deputy director of the Housing Action Council, said the 36 finalists for the apartments will now be carefully evaluated and selected in the coming weeks. The application period started Dec. 3 and concluded on Jan. 31. The building will open for occupancy sometime in the spring.
There is an on-site superintendent, management company and laundry facilities. Tenants are responsible to pay for electricity for lights and cooking. The three new rental apartments will remain affordable for 50 years.
In order to qualify for the rental apartments, household income must be at or below 50 percent of the area median income for Westchester County based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s income guidelines.
Monthly rent is $1,254, but the portion of the rent will be 30 percent of household income, with the balance paid under the federal Section 8 Rental Assistance program.
The units will comply with Westchester County's settlement with the Anti-Discrimination Center, that requires construction of 750 affordable housing units in 31 predominantly white municipalities by 2016.
Funding for the new Freedom Homes units was provided by the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corp., Westchester County, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, the Leviticus Fund and Freedom Gardens itself.