THE BRONX - Residents in the West Bronx criticized a plan to construct transitional housing for recovering mental patients on Bathgate Avenue.

The apartments would go up at 2265 Bathgate Ave. and house recovering schizophrenic and bi-polar patients. Neighbors say there are too many families and schools in the area to risk bringing in unstable residents.

According to Community Board 6, the neighborhood is already saturated with recovery houses. Members of the community board believe the transition homes hinder the neighborhood's progress and decrease property value. Organizers in charge of the proposed housing say the people who would live on Bathgate Avenue are clients who have progressed through two other levels of transition housing and proved their stability before moving in.

The building would also have full-time front desk coverage and case management services. Residents from within the Community Board 6 area would be given priority for spots. City officials say the community board members do not have to approve the project before construction, but the officials are considering their opinions.