Cypress Grand Opening

By: Deborah Cruz


It was 9am when my co-worker and I arrived, the building was already being worked on, cleaned, and last of the furniture set up. The 66-unit mixed-use apartment, situated on Cypress Ave, was being set-up with the care and supervision of the WellLife CEO Sherry Tucker. 40 units are identified as supportive housing for individuals with mental health challenges while the remaining 26 will be offered to low income families. The idea for the housing complex has been in the works since 2004 when the property was purchased by WellLife Network with the intent to turn it into 18-unit building to house individuals with mental health challenges. Unfortunately, throughout the years many delays hindered progress for the project. Initially, issues with the design aided to a 10-12-year hold where the building was essentially just a shell, but after much negotiation with HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) the building was released to WellLife.


Fortunately, with tax law and regulation changes, a bigger building was allowed to be built and the plans for an 18-unit building were scratched, in its place was a 66 mixed-used apartment building. Thus, after delays and multiple COVID-19 setbacks the building has been finished. “We have four families and individuals ready to move in we just need one more inspection from HPD,” said Sherry Tucker, “we are hoping they move in shortly after the ribbon cutting.”


With the recent housing market surge and a ridiculously high rent median it is evident that New York is suffering from a housing crisis. Many residents have left the big apple to seek residency elsewhere and those who have stayed have taken on even more roommates to alleviate the pressure of the rent. In recent years, homelessness in NYC has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression, in fact, according to Coalition for the Homeless there was a recorded number of 48,524 homeless people in city shelters; studies show that the primary cause for homelessness is lack of affordable housing. WellLife’s housing complex provides relief for many individuals and low-income families that struggling to stay afloat. By providing housing we can address the housing crisis and strive to create communities that are accessible to those who struggle daily.


“The biggest challenge going forward will be to make sure that we have a variety of support that is needed to comply with the different blend of individuals and families,” said Sherry after being asked about the challenges moving forward. The Cypress residency received 26,000 number of applicants for 26 community units.


“I think it’s just beautiful how it turned out, it really exceeded our expectations in terms of just the quality,” the excited CEO said, “it is affordable housing but the quality of the building makes it feel more like a higher end building.”



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