HPD and HDC Announce Vacant Lot Will Be Transformed Into 79-Unit Affordable Housing Development

The new affordable housing development will also include a community space that houses a local church and a non-profit organization. On October 4, 2018, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Housing Development Corporation announced the start of the construction of a 79-unit affordable housing development on a previously vacant city-owned lot in Harlem. HPD and HDC partnered with Lemor Development, TD Bank, Street Corner Resources, and the Downtown Baptist Church of Christ for the project. The project seeks to create a mixed-income affordable housing and a new commercial and community facility space.

The project will serve as the new home for the Church and host a local anti-violence non-profit organization called Street Corner Resources, which channels its efforts to empower young people in curbing gun and gang violence through various resources including music, education, job training, and employment.

The project, named “The Robeson”, named after Paul Robeson, an acclaimed African-American athlete, singer, actor, and civil rights advocate, will be ten stories, and will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, with 40 units guaranteed to be permanent affordability under the financing agreement. The building will have two elevators, in-unit heating and cooling, energy efficient appliances, a laundry room, a second floor resident outdoor lounge area, and bicycle parking.

Sixteen of the apartments will be affordable to individuals earning an annual income up to $36,550, and 24 apartments will be affordable, through the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, to individuals earning up to $58,480. This development will also include middle-income housing for households earning up to $95,030.

The project is financed through $45.45 million in public and private investments, and the City’s Mixed-Middle (M2) program. The project partners, TD Bank and HPD provided $18.85 million in construction financing and $13.32 million respectively. The Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer providing $500,000 in Reso A funds.

“Through the Mayor’s Housing New York plan, we aren’t just building new affordable housing, we are creating lasting community assets. The Robeson will pair 79 affordable apartments with a new home for the Downtown Baptist Church of Christ, providing an anchor for central Harlem for generations to come,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin.

“It is fitting that Robeson House is named for a family with a long history of community service, because today we’re putting shovels in the ground on a building that will serve the Harlem community for generations to come. Not only will this new development bring 79 high quality affordable homes for New Yorkers earning a range of incomes, but also a new church, retail space, and a community facility that will foster a safer, stronger Harlem,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.



By: Samantha Albanese. (Samantha Albanese is a CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2019).


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