By NAKIA COPELAND
A church residence project received a $550,000 grant today to construct affordable housing for elderly grandparents raising grandchildren in southeast Queens.
Calvary Baptist Church accepted the grant to the fill the gap created because government does not allow people who live in subsidized housing to take in grandchildren.
“Southeast Queens has an ever growing number of grandparents who are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks, “This award will go a long way toward alleviating the pressure these families face in restrictive housing.”
The project entails constructing 58 units designated for low- and very low-income elders and some larger units for grandparents with legal custody of their grandchildren. The Church first announced this idea in October 2009.
“This grew out of a ministry in our church called Grandparent Support Group where grandparents in the support group come mostly from the community and are not a part of our church,” said Rev. Victor Hall. “The grandparents have come together to seek help with education, information, lobbying, social and fellowship activities to help relieve some of the pressure that they have.”
The grant is part of $26.4 million in housing subsidies from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.
“We want to make sure that these grandkids have opportunities, education, and everything that they need, so that when they come up they can take over and become wonderful citizens in our society,” said Deacon Kent A. Garrett. Several on-site services will be provided, including parenting classes, respite care, counseling and support groups, summer programs for children, stress reduction and exercise classes.
The building would be located at the corner of Guy R. Brewer Boulevard and 112th Road. It would be five stories tall with a sixth-story setback. The expected rent would be about 60 percent of the adjusted median income, $750 to $800 for a one-bedroom apartment, $975 for a two-bedroom and $1,100 for a three-bedroom.