A Legacy of Quality

As a testimony to their courage and resilience, Selfhelp’s founders – refugees from Nazi Germany who had experienced the devastation of losing their homes- founded Selfhelp in 1936 with an unwavering commitment: to ease the suffering of others by providing job training opportunities and housing. In 1964, Selfhelp built our first building to provide apartments for Holocaust survivors. This building in Flushing, Queens continues to provide affordable housing to older adults in the community. Today, Selfhelp owns and operates 17 affordable housing residences that are home to more than 1,500 older adults. With four new projects under construction and in pre-development, we’ll be providing safe and affordable housing for more older New Yorkers soon.

Selfhelp Realty Group | The Melamid Institute for Affordable Housing serves as the primary entity for Selfhelp’s housing development projects. The Institute, which has been named in honor of Holocaust survivor and philanthropist Ilse Melamid, will advance affordable housing policies and funding through advocacy opportunities and will also share our best practices and experience as a provider of affordable senior housing for more than six decades. 

Selfhelp Realty Group is leading the development and preservation of housing with access to onsite social services that promotes aging with independence and dignity. This model of housing enables older adults to age in their own homes and communities and avoid institutional care, such as nursing homes. 

A Unique Perspective

A Real Estate Developer for Older Adults

Our real estate developments not only provide stable housing, they also foster a sense of well-being for residents, connecting them with on-site social services designed to improve their overall health. With these efforts comes remarkable results – Medicaid costs decrease compared to other adults in similar neighborhoods without access; giving seniors more than simply shelter but also peace and stability known only through home. Read more about the impact of SHASAM here. 

Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model (SHASAM) is a comprehensive set of supports appropriate for different stages of the aging process and are available to residents, if and when requested, throughout their tenancy. The model grew out of Selfhelp’s decades of experience working with older adults.

SHASAM supports include:

  • A culturally competent social worker onsite

  • Assistance and advocacy for entitlements and benefits

  • Educational and recreational programming

  • Health and wellness programming

  • Physical activity

  • Social events (in-person and virtual)

  • Aging services technology

  • Volunteer opportunities

  • Referrals to partners for home-delivered meals, home care, subsidized housekeeping, mental health, case management

  • and more


A retrospective, three-year evaluation of the hospitalization rates, emergency department use, and cost of care for residents of six Selfhelp buildings in Queens, New York, compared to other older adults living in the same zip codes. The data was clear about the positive impact of SHASAM:

  • 68% lower odds of being hospitalized.

  • A Medicaid system savings of $3,937 per resident

  • 53% lower odds of visiting an emergency room compared to a non-Selfhelp resident.

  • SHASAM residents with chronic diseases were 43% less likely to be hospitalized than non-residents.

  • The cost of hospitalizations for residents with chronic diseases was half as much for SHASAM residents.

Read more and download Healthy Housing: An Evaluation of Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model (SHASAM)


Affordable & Sustainable Housing

Guided by the principle that housing is a human right, Selfhelp Realty Group | The Melamid Institute for Affordable Housing is committed to building and preserving affordable housing for older adults, with access to services that enrich their lives and inspire their futures.

As a nonprofit developer, the Selfhelp Realty Group | The Melamid Institute for Affordable Housing is dedicated and committed to helping seniors live with dignity in their own homes by providing high-quality housing combined with direct access to onsite social services. This model has been proven to deliver positive health outcomes, resulting in reduced healthcare spending while enabling aging adults the ability to age independently within their communities. 

Voices from Selfhelp Housing


Buildings coming soon


Meet Ilse Melamid

The Selfhelp Realty Group | The Melamid Institute of Affordable Housing has been named in honor of Holocaust survivor and philanthropist Ilse Melamid. For Ilse Melamid, a Holocaust survivor, losing her home in Vienna during the Nazi era left a lifelong emotional scar and she wanted her legacy to increase access to housing for all older New Yorkers.


Click here to learn more about the Announcement.

Click here to learn more about Affordable Housing for Older Adults.

Click here to learn more about Affordable Housing for Older Adults.


Selfhelp Realty Group

520 Eighth Avenue, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Phone 212-947-8701
Fax 212-947-8701