Today’s news:

3 groups in running for Fineson conversion

Three organizations bidding on the contract to convert the Bernard Fineson Center in Howard Beach into senior housing submitted their plans to Community Board 10.

At CB 10’s monthly meeting last week in Ozone Park, CB 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton outlined the proposals developed by the Met Council, Catholic Charities and PSCH Inc.

Gov. David Paterson issued request for proposals on the Howard Beach site in January as part of a plan to redevelop underused state property into senior housing.

The Bernard Fineson Center, run by the state Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, serves the developmentally disabled.

The state said it would like bids to include 100 housing units — at least 80 one−bedroom and studio apartments for low− and middle−income seniors and 20 for developmentally disabled residents — and a senior center for the residents.

Braton said that under the Met Council’s bid, seniors whose income is up to 85 percent of the city median would qualify for housing. She said the organization plans to use the Southeast Queens Senior Center in Howard Beach for activities for the residents.

She said the bid also includes one−bedroom and studio apartments and 12 units reserved for the OMRDD population. The site would house a social worker who will organize special events and lead group meetings at the senior center.

Catholic Charities is proposing 32 studios, 48 one−bedroom and nine two−bedroom apartments, Braton said. The site would include a laundry room and a lounge.

PSCH’s bid calls for a minimum of 140 units, 20 of which will be reserved for OMRDD residents, to be available for low− to moderate−income seniors 60 years and older.

The Fineson center is scheduled to close in June. The state will be transferring some of the center’s residents to the Bernard Fineson Center in Queens Village while others will be housed in the community.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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