El Borinquen Residence

Organization Name: Comunilife, Inc.

Project Title: El Borinquen Residence

Project Location: Morissania, Bronx

Project Description:
Our El Borinquen Residence is a 10 story, 148 unit residence at 3401 Third Avenue in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx. It provides 90 units of supportive housing for youth transitioning out of foster care and formerly homeless adults living with special needs. The remaining 58 affordable units are for very low-income seniors and low-income community members. It is comprised of 112 studio and 36 apartments. This service enriched residence provides the wrap around activities that enable the supportive housing residents to build a foundation that allows them to have improved health and housing outcomes while giving them the tools necessary to succeed socially and educationally. Social and arts activities are available to all residents with the goal of building a community were the residents can learn from each other. El Borinquen meets Enterprise Green Communities standards and addresses the environmental issues of greatest concern to the community, namely air quality, energy costs, and reversing the heat-island effect. Our goal is for El Borinquen to be a good neighbor. It was developed with gallery/community space that provides a place where neighborhood residents can congregate

Community Impact:
El Borinquen provides safe, affordable service enriched housing that also benefits the Morrisania community. Residents were selected after conversations with community leaders. With its unique facade, El Borinquen is a landmark in a neighborhood of lower-rise brick buildings. It was designed with a visible street level art gallery/community space that features local artists and serves as a community hub. It is a model for how art can be integrated into supportive & affordable housing as a fundamental pillar for tenants' successful treatment and healthcare.

Alexander Gorlin Architects designed a building infused w/Latino culture that integrates "living art." Gorlin was inspired by Modernist Latin American buildings including pilotas columns that create a raised first floor. Bright colors & artwork continue throughout the building, from the façade’s metal paneling and tiled elevator bank representing South American flags, to brightly painted hallways. The most unique feature is 150ft mural based on the poem Rio Grande de Loiza (Puerto Rican Poet Julia Del Burgos). Painted by artists Aurelio Del Muro & Marta Blaire, the mural is featured on the building’s first floor.

Organization Description:
Comunilife’s mission is to provide vulnerable communities with housing & culturally sensitive supportive services. We believe that no one should be without the housing and supports they need to lead a healthy & meaningful life. With programs that include supportive/affordable housing, medical respite services & Latina adolescent suicide prevention activities, Comunilife served more than 4,000 low-income and vulnerable NYers in 2022. All struggle with profound challenges including chronic homelessness, HIV/AIDS, serious mental illnesses, & substance use.

Team Members:

Rosa M. Gil, DSW, Comunilife President and CEO
Michael O’Donnell, Comunilife EVP/COO
Alexander Gorlin, Alexander Gorlin Architects
Construction: Mega Contracting



Thank you for viewing NYHC's Community Impact Gallery. Please note: NYHC does not own or manage any property. If you have any questions about a specific building, please contact the project team listed. To apply for affordable housing opportunities, see housingconnect.nyc.gov or hcr.ny.gov/find-affordable-housing

El Borinquen Residence Exterior View
El Borinquen Residence Community Room/Art Gallery
El Borinquen Residence Front Entrance with View of Mural
El Borinquen Residence Apartment
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