Betances Houses

Organization Name: RDC Development

Project Title: Betances Houses

Project Location: Mott Haven, Bronx, NY

Project Description:
Betances Houses consists of 40 buildings containing 1,088 apartments scattered throughout the south Bronx. RDC Development, through its partnership with the New York City Housing Authority, completed the $225 million rehabilitation of Betances Houses. The project utilized HUD’s RAD and NYCHA’s PACT programs to provide critical improvements to the physical site, tailored services for residents, and preserve long-term affordability. Over 24 months, the tenant-in-place restoration of Betances included a major rehabilitation of building infrastructure and amenities, including new roofs, windows, lobbies, boilers, key fob entry systems and additional security measures. The apartments received new flooring, painting, renovated kitchens including new stainless-steel appliances, energy efficient LED lighting, and bathrooms complete with new showers, flooring, medicine cabinets, and vanities. RDC also provided site beautification updates informed by the residents including new play equipment, a stage, and three murals completed by local artists. In addition, the team developed and implemented a social services program, led by Catholic Charities, tailored to the individual needs of the Betances community.

Community Impact:
The cumulative impact of the restoration project has improved the quality of life for this at-risk community while empowering residents to live fuller and healthier lives.
During the pandemic, RDC rose to the challenge of supporting the new and exacerbated needs of the community by delivering food and providing cleaning and household supplies to residents. RDC prioritized the health and safety of its residents by implementing cleaning procedures, distributing reusable masks, and hosting vaccination events to provide education and easy access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Focusing on the continued educational development of the youth at Betances while schools remained remote, the E-mentorship program was created. The program provides participants with new laptops, and connects students with leaders in the community to enhance their research, reading, and writing skills, while keeping them engaged in learning through one-on-one attention focused on their individual interest areas.
Catholic Charities has an on-site office at Betances which is in use to provide one on one counseling, youth employment programs, free food distribution, emergency assistance programs, and educational enrichment services.

Organization Description:
RDC Development is a long-term partnership between MDG Design + Construction and Wavecrest Management providing residents with a reliable team to develop and maintain high-quality affordable housing focusing on partnerships with NYCHA. In addition to physical construction and maintenance, RDC provides support and programs that allow low-income residents to thrive, including timely responses to building issues, security, liaising with tenants’ associations, partnerships with social service providers, events, and the holistic nurturing of community.

Team Members:

• Developer: RDC Development - Matthew Rooney and Susan Camerata
• Property Manager: Wavecrest Management
• Architect: Newman Design - Brian Newman
• General Contractor: MDG Design + Construction

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