On July 12, 2023, the City Planning Commission held a public hearing for a new supportive housing development at 244 East 106th Street in East Harlem. The site is currently a vacant lot on the south side of East 106th Street between Second and Third Avenues. The building is part of the ShareNYC pilot program where the city is exploring the creation and implementation of shared housing. Shared housing consists of housing units with two or more independently occupied rooms with a common kitchen and bathrooms.
The ten-story residential building will have approximately 32 rooming units divided into four duplex shared housing units, with eight units in each duplex. There will be four rooming units and two ADA bathrooms per floor and each shared housing unit (consisting of eight residents) will have one kitchen and living room space. The building will also feature one building manager’s unit. The units are 100 percent supportive housing granted through referrals by the New York City Human Resources Administration. The units will be restricted to households or individuals earning up to 60 percent area median income.
The building’s amenities include laundry facilities in each shared unit, a work/study space, a multi-purpose gathering space, and an accessible landscaped rear yard. Supportive services will be managed by the Ali Forney Center, and the building is a LGBTQ-affirming building, which will aim to give support for formerly homeless youth. The building will be open to formerly homeless youth from ages 16 to 24, but as the units are permanent supportive housing residents are allowed to stay beyond the age of 24. Ali Forney Center staff will be on site 24/7 to provide services.
As the building is located in a flood zone, the cellar will be waterproof and the ground floor will be elevated. Mechanical utilities will be located on the elevated ground floor, and the roof will be a green roof.
The building will be funded through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Supportive Housing Loan Program.
Both Manhattan Community Board 11 and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine voted to approve the application. In his ULURP recommendation letter for the application, Borough President Levine stated, “New York City is in the midst of an unprecedented housing shortage that is the leading cause of homelessness. . . We cannot become a city where people who grow up here cannot afford to stay in their neighborhoods. . . This proposed building would offer an innovative housing model and deliver 32 new homes, along with services and community programs, and give formerly homeless individuals the opportunity to prosper.”
At the public hearing, Vice Chair Kenneth J. Knuckles asked if priority would be given to people from Manhattan Community Board 11. Since the referrals come through the Human Resources Administration, there is no community board preference on that end but when prospective tenants are filling out forms to get referrals through the Human Resources Administration, they can indicate if they have a preference to live within a particular community board.
No members of the public spoke regarding the application.
The City Planning Commission will vote on the application at a later date.
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)