City to develop 2,400 new affordable housing units in East Harlem

May 3, 2017

Mayor de Blasio and his administration have made progress in meeting their goal of building 200,000 affordable units over the span of a decade, as 21,963 new units were added in 2016, the most in 27 years. However, there continues to be a shortage in East Harlem. Out of the nearly 20,000 affordable units, the city brought to all five boroughs, just 249 units have been built in East Harlem, according to a new report by the Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD). To better accommodate these residents, the city plans on expediting the construction of 2,400 units of affordable housing over the next few years, as DNA Info reported.

developments in east harlem, east harlem city owned buildings, the east harlem housing plan
Chart of city-owned sites in East Harlem via DHP

The report, called the East Harlem Housing Plan, details the city’s plans to address the shortage of affordable housing in the area, while also protecting tenants from landlord harassment. According to the report, the neighborhood has the largest concentration of rent-regulated housing in the city, at 75 percent. Despite more than half of East Harlem residents identifying as “rent burdened” or spending more than a third of their income on rent, just one percent of the total new affordable housing units citywide came to the neighborhood.

Part of the East Harlem Housing plan includes improving access to affordable housing by making it easier for residents to complete the application process, better advertising lotteries, and refining marketing guidelines to reach a broader range of applicants. Additional proposals include hosting workshops about tenants’ rights and rent-stabilized housing.

The report also said HPD may require developments along Lexington, Park, Second and Third Avenues and East 116th Street to make 20 to 30 percent of the units permanently affordable. In October, the de Blasio administration announced their East Harlem rezoning proposal, which would let 30-story towers be constructed there. Since then, progress has been made with two major developments in the neighborhood.

Sendero Verde development, affordable housing, East Harlem
Rendering via Handel Architects

321 East 96th Street, Perkins Eastman Architects, AvalonBay Communities, East Harlem development
Rendering of view from 96th Street and Second Avenue of the residential tower’s podium

One bounded by East 11th and 112th Streets and Park and Madison Avenues is expected to have 655 affordable passive house apartments, as well as a YMCA, job training center, a DREAM charter school, a grocery store and more. Construction has begun at 321 East 96th Street for a mixed-used development project. This project would have two new schools buildings, retail space, playground and a 68-story, 760-foot-tall residential tower that would offer between 1,100 and 1,200 units. The project at East 96th Street, if it rises to its proposed height, will be the second tallest building on the east side north of Midtown.

[Via DNA Info]


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