To raise funds for repairs to its cash-strapped holdings of 117 affordable housing units, the Greater Harlem Housing Development Corporation has sold off a vacant plot of land in their midstat 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenuefor $1.2 million. The 24' x 100' lot at 318 West 135th Street has already attracted a buyerF-Lot Development plans to build 12 luxury condominiums on the site, DNAinfo reports. The new condos will be priced from $490,000 for a 600-square-foot one-bedroom apartment to $900,000 for a 1,400-square-foot three-bedroom apartment. (So, not "affordable" to many area residents) The development will also have ground-floor commercial space.
The city's department of Housing Preservation Development transferred the lot to the Greater Harlem Housing Development Corporation in 1994 as part of an effort to develop affordable housing in the neighborhood. Two decades later, this transaction seems contrary to that aim, and the arrival of yet another pricey development has raised concerns amongst community members who fear that the gap between affordable and market-rate residents could breed neighborhood hostility. However, without proceeds from the sale, will the corporation ever be able to address its many code violations and financing issues for its existing apartments? Proceeds from the sale will also go towards renovations and updates for those 117 trouble-plagued units.
Perhaps a history of poor management is to blame for the $3.6 million deficit most recently reported by the Greater Harlem Housing Development Corporation. When residents of the affordable housing units were told of the plan to raise money for repairs, residents were skeptical. "I don't even bother to call... for repairs anymore," one man told DNAinfo. "Sounds like a scam to me."
· Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce to Sell Land For Luxury Housing [DNAinfo]
· Faltering Harlem Housing Deal Won City Cash [NYT]