Public Housing, Private Property

1070 Washington Avenue in the Morrisania section of the Bronx sounds like just another address, but it’s notable for being the home of a new affordable housing complex that could be a model of public-private affordable housing collaboration.

The energy efficient, 49-unit private development will include not only on-site supportive services for veterans and special needs tenants, but also 21 public housing units, making this address the first site where public housing units of the New York City Housing Authority will be located on private property.

Joining NYCHA and the developer, Bronx Pro Group LLC, in this collaboration are the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Services for the UnderServed, Chase Community Development Banking, and Enterprise Green Communities. The $21.7 million development cost is offset by $4.7 million in Replacement Housing Factor public housing funds, a $3.4 million federal HOME loan, and roughly $1 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds. The development follows NYCHA’s five-year strategic plan, which calls for the authority to seek outside nonprofit and private sector organizations to help public housing “achieve fiscal stability.” NYCHA’s ongoing financial crisis, resulting from a one-third cut in federal capital subsidies over the last 10 years and a $13 billion capital deficit through 2015, has necessitated these types of partnerships, according to NYCHA chairman John Rhea.

Shelterforce is the only independent, non-academic publication covering the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization.


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