Breaking Ground for the New Mount Hope Plaza

WHITE PLAINS – April 12th marked the start of construction on Mt. Hope Plaza, an affordable housing project for seniors in White Plains. The development, collaborating with Mt. Hope A.M.E Zion Church and Community Housing Innovations, will offer 56 affordable apartments, with 20 units earmarked for those needing supportive services.

Located on Lake Street, the six-story building will feature a structured parking garage, with 47 spaces shared with the church. All 56 apartments are designated for adults aged 62 and older with income at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Twenty units will specifically cater to seniors experiencing homelessness, supported by services funded under the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.

Legislator Ben Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, West Harrison) said, “I am excited to be here today to mark this magnificent milestone for Mt. Hope, the City of White Plains and Westchester County. I have been involved with this development since its conception nearly eight years ago. While there were several setbacks due to changes in the law, the Pandemic, cost increases, and funding sources along the way, the Church and the developers have overcome all obstacles and are now ready to break ground.”

“Our seniors are some of our most vulnerable citizens in terms of economic security, housing stability and healthcare. This development incorporates many features to address the challenges faced by our aging seniors as they live out their golden years.”

Legislator Jewel Williams Johnson (D – Elmsford, Greenburgh, Tarrytown, White Plains) said, “Mt. Hope Plaza is on a site, the Rugged Highlands, deeply rooted in history and resilience—a ground once walked upon by those who were enslaved and later liberated, yet who nurtured dreams of true freedom and equality. This project by the Mt. Hope AME Zion Church’s Mt. Hope Community Development Corporation is a testament to perseverance and empowerment. It stands as a beacon of progress, not just for us in Westchester County now but for future generations who will call this place home. I am grateful for the vision and determination of Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith and all the church leaders, and for the collaboration of many public and private partnerships. Friday’s groundbreaking was special on so many levels, but with my mother, former Board of Legislators’ Vice Chair Alfreda Williams being integral in the initial funding of this project, makes it even more special for me.”

Legislator Shanae Williams (D – Yonkers), Housing & Planning Chair said, “I commend my colleagues at the Board who have been working relentlessly to make this project possible. The community and partners in government are pleased to see this moving forward because we need to build upon our housing stock in Westchester County.”

Majority Whip Terry Clements (D – New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor) said, I’m really happy that all the hard work that’s been put in to secure housing for seniors in Westchester County is finally coming to fruition. We want to make sure our seniors are in safe, affordable housing. This is a dream that Mt. Hope has finally realized in partnership with Community Housing. I want to thank my colleagues for moving this forward.”

Board Chair Vedat Gashi (D – New Castle, Ossining, Somers, Yorktown) said, “I want to commend my colleague, Ben Boykin, our partners at Mt. Hope Community Development Corporation, Community Housing Innovations, the City of White Plains, and our sponsors at the state and federal level, for their efforts that have brought us to this landmark occasion. Providing affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents is something we at the Board of Legislators are committed to and this milestone marks another important step forward.”

NYS State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “I was so pleased to join my colleagues to celebrate the groundbreaking of Mt. Hope Plaza. This project is a tremendous example of Westchester’s commitment to affordable housing and ensuring our aging community and those who need supportive services can remain in the community they love. I am deeply appreciative of Mt Hope AME Zion Church and Gregory Robeson Smith for their steadfast commitment to our community and for beginning this process many years ago, as well as Westchester County, the Board of Legislators, the City of White Plains and Governor Hochul for helping to make this wonderful development possible.”

The project’s developers are the Mt. Hope Community Development Corporation and Community Housing Innovations. Funding sources include Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, subsidies from HCR, support from NYSERDA, investments from Westchester County and the City of White Plains, and financing from Webster Bank.

Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith, Senior Pastor of Mt. Hope A.M.E Zion Church, emphasized the importance of providing seniors with adequate and affordable housing. He said, “Our seniors are the crown jewels of the community with the greatest need for affordable adequate living accommodations. Unfortunately, they are our most forgotten. Our mission is without question to minimize and or eliminate this atrocious situation. Mt. Hope Plaza design will provide a comfortable living space during their maturing golden years.”

Ron Abad, CEO of Community Housing Innovations, highlighted the significance of affordable housing for the community’s prosperity. He said, “It is an awesome opportunity to see firsthand this remarkable partnership all for the purpose of providing quality and affordable housing to our seniors. All know that affordable housing leads to the growth and prosperity of our community.”

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