As rents soar, housing prices spike and New York City fights a losing battle to provide affordable housing, a developer in Harlem has come up with a counterintuitive approach to the problem: build new, affordable co-ops.
Developers have lined up financing to build on two lots that have been vacant since at least 2009 — one at 207-209 W. 140th St., the other at 304 W. 150th St., Patch reports. The two-pronged project is a public-private partnership between the nonprofit Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, the city's housing department, the state's Affordable Housing Corp. and the developer Exact Capital Group, a majority Black-owned real estate development company.
The 140th Street site, between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. boulevards, will become home to a six-story building containing more than 21,000 square feet of residential space, developers say. Its 21 apartments will be one and two-bedrooms. A few blocks uptown, the 150th Street site is between Bradhurst Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Its 31 units will include studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments. Once ready, the apartments will be sold as co-ops to households making 80% to 90% of the area median income.
The project will be funded in part by the Open Door Program, operated by the city's department of Housing Preservation and Development, which supports co-op and condominium projects affordable to moderate and middle-income households. Under program rules, original shareholders can sell their apartments only to buyers who fall under the project's income cap — thus guaranteeing continued affordability. There is also a resale cap: sellers can realize a maximum 2% appreciation on the original purchase price per year of owner occupancy. The project's $32.56 million total construction cost was also financed by Webster Bank.
Exact's managing partner, Craig Livingston, said in a statement: "While Exact Capital develops affordable housing throughout the United States, as a company based in Manhattan, we take particular pride in creating an opportunity for New Yorkers with qualifying incomes to fulfill the American Dream of home ownership through new affordable co-op apartments in Harlem."
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