Affordable housing is a concern throughout the city of New York. In an effort to assist residents who may be affected by gentrification, a number of programs and initiatives have been launched. Here is a look at just a couple.
Beford-Union Armory Redevelopment Gets Help from Nonprofit Partner
The controversial Bedford-Union Armory development in Crown Heights has received a bit of a boost from a new nonprofit partner. The nonprofit Local Development Corporation of Crown Heights (LDCCH) has joined the development team to assist with outreach and to oversee a trust fund that will help to pay for new affordable housing units in the area. LDCCH will also help lead developer BFC Partners with seeking out opportunities to contract with businesses owned by minorities and women while also serving as a buffer between the BFC and the concerned community.
Plans for the space include bringing affordable housing to the area while also creating affordable office space. Six nonprofits have already signed on for some of the space, including Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, New Heights Youth, Digital Girl Inc., West Indian American Day Carnival Association and James E. Davis Stop the Violence Foundation. The Bedford-Union Armory would provide long-term leases to each of these organizations, all of which provide free or low-cost programming to the community, at below market rate.
Once completed, the 138,000 square foot former National Guard armory will offer 330 rentals, 60 condos and a recreation area. The recreation area will include three basketball courts, a swimming pool and an indoor soccer field. Half of the rentals and 20 percent of the condos will be designated as affordable.
Brooklyn Borough President Works with Houses of Worship to Bring More Affordable Housing
In an attempt to bring more affordable housing to Brooklyn, borough president Eric Adams has identified hundreds of properties in Brooklyn for affordable housing development. With churches across the city increasingly being converted to residential buildings, Adams is working to ensure they are not always converted to pricey condos. To further this initiative, he has created the Faith-Based Development Initiative, which connects houses of worship with resources to assist with development potential.
One of the most recent projects to be put forward through the program was a 67-unit affordable housing development in Ocean Hill where True Holy Church currently located. In collaboration with the church, Brisa Builders Corporation and Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council is working toward rezoning the property for the development. The ten-story building will feature a larger church at the base along with apartments that will be priced at 60 percent of the area median income or below. 15 of the apartments will be set aside for formerly homeless veterans.
Several other houses of worship have also been identified as ones that could align with the goals of the initiative. Furthermore, Adams set aside $1 million last year for two other projects he hopes to push through the program. These include a 154-unit affordable housing development in Crown Heights for low-income seniors and a 418-unit development in Brownsville for low-income families.