A public oversight hearing is still going on at City Hall regarding the Rivington House fiasco. During his testimony this morning, First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris announced that the administration plans to create affordable senior housing on the Lower East Side to make up for the loss of the Rivington House nursing facility. Now the mayor’s office is out with a press release formally announcing the new project.
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a plan to build an affordable housing and health care facility designed to replace services lost in the wake of a Lower East Side nursing home closure last year. The City will issue a Request for Proposals in 2017, paving the way for the return of health care lost as a result of a mishandled deed modification at Rivington House. With a development that will house more than 100 seniors in a mixed-use affordable housing and health care setting, investment in the facility is expected to exceed the $16 million the City received in exchange for lifting deed restrictions and inadvertently allowing for the conversion of the building to luxury housing… The City has identified 30 Pike St. on the Lower East Side as the site for the future development. The property is owned by the Department of Environmental Protection and will be reconfigured to accommodate the new project as well as DEP’s operations. It sits less than a mile from Rivington House.
The DEP facility is located on Pike Street, between Madison and Henry streets. There were more than 200 beds at Rivington House. The news release included a statement from City Council member Margaret Chin:
More than just a win for the Lower East Side community I represent, the decision to pursue a comprehensive senior health facility at this site will allow for a continuum of care that I hope will become a model for communities across our City… I look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that this facility will be accessible to the growing number of low income seniors who need more affordable housing and healthcare options in the neighborhood. I thank Mayor de Blasio for pursuing the revitalization of this underutilized property, and for his commitment to the health and well-being of elderly New Yorkers.
During the hearing, Chin told Shorris she would still like to see the administration pursue all possible avenues to return the Rivington House property to the community. Shorris suggested that pending state and federal investigations could potentially lead to a return of the building. We’ll have more details from the hearing later.