Project Greenhope housing facility approved

Facility to provide transitional housing for formerly incarcerated women. The Planning Commission approved a 49-unit, seven-story new building to serve as a substance abuse treatment facility and transitional housing for 70 homeless women ex-offenders, of whom an estimated 28 will have children residing with them. The new building, which will be funded by the New York State Homeless Housing Assistance Program, will be located at 435 East 119th Street in East Harlem and managed by Project Greenhope, a residential transitional treatment program for formerly incarcerated women. The application required the Commission’s approval of a UDAAP designation, disposition of City-owned property, and a special permit to increase the permitted floor area.

The site, located on a primarily residential block, comprises two City-owned lots on the north side of East 119th Street between Pleasant and First Avenues which currently contain a community garden that will be relocated. Project Greenhope manages an existing facility on East 119th Street and plans to move all 62 of its residents into the new building. Residents of the new building would either be in transition from incarceration to independent living or referred as an alternative to incarceration. The proposed 36,225 square-foot building will include an on-site nursery and day care center, a community garden and a yard for recreational activities.

At the Commission’s February 2, 2005 hearing, no speakers opposed. Several speakers spoke in favor, including alumni of the program and Council Member Philip Reed, who noted that projects of this kind helped bring people back to the community. Project Greenhope’s Executive Director testified that the program, the largest of its kind in the country, raised $9 million for the facility’s construction and had a success rate of 75 percent with its current residents. Finding that the project would not generate significant traffic, and that the bulk of the building would not obstruct light and air, the Commission unanimously approved on March 2, 2005.

ULURP Process: The Department of Housing Preservation and Development, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on August 17, 2002. Community Board 11 approved on December 21, 2004, by a vote of 17 to 14. Borough President C. Virginia Fields approved on January 12, 2005.

The Council’s Land Use Committee approved, sending it to the full Council for an April 12th vote.

CPC: Project Greenhope (C 050072 HAM – UDAAP/disposition of Cityowned property); (C 050073 ZSM – special permit to apply community facility FAR) (March 2, 2005) (Hamlet E. Wallace Architects). CITYADMIN

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