HARLEM—Three housing developments in Harlem, Clinton and the Upper West Side will remain affordable for the next 35 years thanks to an agreement between the city and the owner, Related Companies.
As part of a new tax credit deal, the 258 units will remain in affordability programs such as Section 8 where tenants pay 30 percent of their income in rent, according to the city's Housing Development Corporation.
The units are part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to preserve or create 165,000 units of affordable housing by the end of fiscal year 2014. Their affordability contracts were set to expire.
HDC provided $10.1 million in tax exempt bonds for upgrades at New Horizons at 200 W. 111th St., $25 million in bonds for Terrific Tenements, located at 527 W. 47th St. and 425 W. 48th St. and $36 million for North Park, at 20 W. 102nd St. In exchange, Related agreed to keep the buildings affordable for 35 years.
The apartments will house up to 1,000 people who are at or below 60 percent of the median income, which is $47,520 for a family of four. The preservation of these affordable units is important because they are in neighborhoods that are rapidly gentrifying.
"The developments we are announcing today are all the more remarkable for their locations. Make no mistake: all three of these properties are immensely valuable pieces of real estate," said HDC president Marc Jahr.
Allowing families to remain in their homes "has a tremendous impact on the quality of their lives and at the same time helps to stabilize neighborhoods," Jahr said.
Mark Carbone, president of Related Affordable - a division of Related Companies - agreed.
"Most of the tenants would not be able to afford to live in these buildings," said Carbone. "Clinton has changed dramatically since 20 years ago. A lot of young people are moving in and rents are astronomical. We are seeing the same thing at 102nd Street near Central Park."
New Horizons is also located a block from Central Park.
In addition to remaining affordable, the buildings are getting interior and exterior overhauls. Carbone said the properties were getting new roofs, energy efficient windows and facade repair.
Inside, kitchen cabinets are being replaced, floors are being redone, and boilers are being replaced. Some community rooms and landscaping are also being upgraded. The upgrades are almost finished in two of the buildings and will be finished in New Horizons by Dec. 31, officials said.
Ivan Nieves, a long-time resident of New Horizons, said the improvements will make the building a "better place to live."