Neighbors wary of Bronx veterans housing project

October 06, 2013 12:00PM

A Harlem-based developer plans to convert a Bronx building into affordable housing for impoverished veterans, but neighbors fear the plan may be a scam.

The five-story complex at 1870 Pelham Parkway South, known as the Pelham Grand, recently served as a shelter for displaced mental patients. Nearby residents believe that, rather than be used as affordable housing for veterans, the complex will be used as a homeless shelter, the New York Daily News reported.

The developer, Ismail Shamsid-Deen, insists his plan is not a scam. “We’re talking about permanent housing for veterans,” said Shamsid-Deen.

Shamsid-Deen, president of the non-profit Developmental Outreach, told community board members last week that his group was committed to obtaining community consent for the project, which has yet to receive funding.

The building has been used as a senior residence and a failed luxury apartment complex since 2006. In January, it briefly housed 62 mentally ill adults displaced from the Rockaways by Superstorm Sandy. [NYDN] – James Comtois