City accused of keeping affordable apartments in Upper Manhattan vacant

Activists say HPD-owned buildings in Inwood, Washington Heights should be renovated, filled

Oct.October 25, 2016 10:04 AM

Despite a massive shortage of affordable housing in New York, activists say the city’s left two buildings in Upper Manhattan totally vacant for several years. They’re urging the city to make repairs to the buildings, which would free up 26 affordable apartments.

The Housing Preservation Development owns 21 Arden Street in Inwood and 2110 Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights, DNAinfo reported. Community Board 12 passed a resolution in 2014, saying two buildings owned by the Housing Preservation Development — 21 Arden Street and 2110 Amsterdam Avenue — could be renovated and set aside as affordable housing.

But activist Martin Collins of Inwood Preservation — a group that pushes to keep uptown as an affordable, low-rise area — says the renovation has been delayed too long and CB12 should make it a top priority in its budget.

“These boarded-up apartment buildings in our community are an embarrassment,” he told the news website. “The preservation of our existing affordable housing should be first and foremost, and it is time HPD made a commitment to this community that it has not fully made in the past decade.”

A representative for HPD told DNAinfo that the agency is working to obtain the money for the redevelopment of the buildings, and it is hoped redevelopment will happen in the next fiscal year.

Creating and preserving affordable housing has been a signature policy for Bill de Blasio’s administration, though there have been ongoing challenges with the city’s zoning changes and the loss of 421a.  Earlier this year, the city claimed it had financed the creation and preservation of almost 53,000 low-to-moderate-income units since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office. [DNAinfo]Miriam Hall

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