Lottery opens for affordable senior housing building at East Harlem’s Metropolitan Hospital site

May 10, 2017

Draper Hall, rendering via Dattner Architects

In March of 2015, East Harlem’s Metropolitan Hospital Center filed plans to horizontally expand and add a new facade to their former nurses’ dormitory known as Draper Hall. Located at 1918 First Avenue, the 14-story building had been vacant since Hurricane Sandy, and after Dattner Architects’ renovation, it’s been reborn as affordable senior housing, containing 203 subsidized units. Those age 62 and older who earn between $0 and $38,200 annually are now eligible to apply for 51 of these one-bedroom residences, for which they will pay 30 percent of their income.

Dattner, well known for their work on both affordable and senior housing projects, increased the building’s floor area from 123,000 to 181,000 square feet, retaining its 14-story height, and adding irregularly placed windows to a new blue-glazed brick wall that fronts a private garden along First Avenue. Other amenities include a resident community room, laundry room, and on-site adult day program. The apartments are outfitted with energy-efficient appliances and lighting and accessibility features such as seated showers, rail-bars, and call buttons. There’s also a 156-spot parking lot to be shared by residents and guests of the community facilities.

When the project was completed in the fall of 2016, the city granted a 99-year lease to developer SKA Marin for $100,000 a year. At the time, the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation told the Commercial Observer: “Many seniors wind up being hospitalized for longer than necessary because of the lack of supportive housing.  A safe, new affordable development with appropriate amenities for the senior population will help reduce hospitalizations and enable seniors to live in dignity as part of the community.”

Individuals or households that have at least one household member who is 62 years of age or older and who meet the income and household size requirements can apply for the affordable apartments at 1918 First Avenue until July 10, 2017. Residents of Manhattan Community Board 11 will be given a general preference for the units. Complete details on how to apply are available here (pdf). Questions regarding this offer must be referred to NYC’s Housing Connect department by dialing 311.

Use 6sqft’s map below to find even more ongoing housing lotteries.

If you don’t qualify for the housing lotteries mentioned, visit’s no-fee rentals page for other apartment deals in the city.


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