The Real Deal New York

City selects developers to build 500 affordable housing units on vacant lots

Announcement comes after report criticizes city for holding onto empty sites
By Eddie Small | February 13, 2018 03:05PM

Rendering of the Peninsula (credit: WXY Architecture + Urban Design)

The city announced on Tuesday that it had selected development teams to build roughly 500 affordable homes on vacant lots throughout New York, one day after City Comptroller Scott Stringer blasted the city in a report for holding onto hundreds of vacant sites.

The new projects represent the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s third and last round of designations through its New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program and Neighborhood Construction Program, which were created to help spur development on smaller lots. The prior two rounds created more than 600 units of affordable housing on 81 lots, according to HPD.

The city has broken up selections for the third round into the following clusters:

  • In the Bedford-Stuyvesant East and Weeksville cluster, a team led by Habitat for Humanity will construct 10 buildings with 63 units on 14 vacant lots.
  • In the East Harlem cluster, a team led by LOTT Community Development Corporation and MDG Design and Construction will construct four buildings with 75 units on six vacant lots.
  • In the East New York and Brownsville cluster, a team led by Infinite Horizons and FG-PH Corporation will construct 16 homes with 33 units on 15 vacant lots.
  • In the East New York south and east cluster, a team led by MHANY Management and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation will construct nine buildings with 36 units on 10 lots.
  • In the East New York south and west cluster, a team led by Rajoy Management and PM Architecture will construct 10 buildings with 73 units on 10 lots.
  • In the East Tremont cluster, a team led by Services for the Underserved and Fulcrum Properties will develop two buildings with 29 units on two vacant lots.
  • In the Melrose-Concourse cluster, Settlement Housing Fund and the Beechwood Organization will develop two buildings with 36 units on two vacant lots.
  • In the Morrisania and Morris Heights cluster, a team led by Neighborhood Infill Partners will develop nine buildings. The number of units they will include and the number of lots they will be built on is unclear.
  • On a South Jamaica cluster, a team led by Infinite Horizons and FG-PH Corporation will develop two rental buildings with 43 units on three vacant lots. On a second South Jamaica cluster, a team led by the Briarwood Organization and Fulcrum Properties will develop 13 homes with 24 units on 13 lots.
  • In the Weeksville Cluster, Settlement Housing Fund and the Beachwood Organization will develop one building with 44 units on three vacant lots.

Stringer’s report criticized the city for holding onto hundreds of vacant land parcels, which his office estimated could be used for about 50,000 units of affordable housing. The office had identified 1,125 vacant HPD parcels in an audit from about two years ago, and although the agency had pledged to transfer 450 of those sites to developers in two years, Stringer’s new report found that just 64 of the lots were ultimately transferred.

HPD maintained that 190 sites were transferred to different city agencies, and Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer called the report misleading.