La Casa de Felicidad is an 85-unit senior housing project built under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202 program which provides independent living residential developments for low-income senior citizens. The project is a joint venture of Nos Quedamos, a local community development organization, and Phipps Houses, the oldest not-for-profit housing developer in New York City.
Located at the intersection of Third Avenue and 158th Street in the Bronx, the project sits at the eastern edge of the Melrose Commons neighborhood. It was the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Plan Design Guidelines that determined the building massing and street frontage. The building was designed with ground floor community spaces facing Third Avenue, and a landscaped rear yard. Most residential units are on the upper floors. Social services offices, the building management offices, security and residential units for the hearing and visually impaired are also located on the street level. Handicapped accessible units are located on each floor opposite the elevator lobby. All of the apartments are handicapped adaptable and meet Uniform Federal Accessibility Guidelines. Each residential floor has a small day room located at the corner of the building and opposite the elevator lobby, providing informal gathering spaces with easy access to resident apartments, a feature which becomes critical as elderly residents age.