The Westbourne

The Westburne

The Westburne Building


The Westbourne

Date Occupied

March 28, 1987

Residential Units

128 SRO (single room occupancy) units for persons with very low incomes, persons with experience of homelessness, and preexisting tenants

Development Partners

Architect: Siris/Coombs Architects
General Contractor: Galaxy General Contracting Corp.
Major Funders: NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and National Equity Fund

Rental Subsidy

Section 8 Vouchers

Services Funding

NYC Department of Homeless Services

More Info

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Building History

The Westbourne, located on West End Avenue near 106th Street, was the first privately owned SRO that New York City allowed a non-profit to acquire. The City provided funds for WSFSSH to purchase the Westbourne for the purpose of providing permanent housing for homeless people, and as a way to preserve SRO stock.
WSFSSH took possession of the Westbourne on March 28, 1987. Acquiring the building was really only the beginning. The structure had not had repairs in many years; almost half the building was condemned. Drug use, violence, and crime were part of daily life at the Westbourne. The people who lived there had for the most part lived below the radar, with little access to or interest in social services or health care.
Basic repairs began, and services were provided to tenants. Twenty-two rooms were renovated for Section 8, and the first group of formerly homeless people moved in from a Department of Homeless Services Shelter in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Federal Income Tax Credits through the National Equity Fund (NEF) funded a moderate renovation of the building.
Today the Westbourne is clean and safe. One hundred and twenty-eight tenants live in single rooms within suites which include shared kitchens and baths. Violence and crime are no longer part of the daily life of the building. There is a real sense of community and interdependence within the building.