Harlem’s answer to the affordable housing shortage? Build new cooperatives.


As rents soar, housing prices soar, and New York City is fighting a losing battle to provide affordable housinga Harlem developer offered a counter-intuitive approach to the problem: build new affordable housing cooperatives.

The developers secured financing to build on two lots that had been vacant since at least 2009 – one at 207-209 W. 140th St., the other at 304 W. 150th St., Patch reports. The two-pronged project is a public-private partnership between the nonprofit Harlem Congregations for Community Improvementthe city’s housing department, the state Affordable Housing Corporation and the developer Exact Capital Groupa majority black-owned real estate development company.

The 140th Street site, between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevards, will house a six-story building containing more than 21,000 square feet of residential space, developers say. Its 21 apartments will be one or two bedrooms. A few blocks from downtown, the 150th Street site sits between Bradhurst Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Its 31 units will include studios, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Once ready, the apartments will be sold in the form of cooperatives to households making 80% to 90% of the median income in the region.

The project will be funded in part by the Open door programmanaged by the municipal department of Housing Preservation and Development, which supports affordable co-op and condominium projects for middle- and middle-income households. Under program rules, original shareholders can only sell their apartments to buyers who fall within the project’s revenue cap, ensuring continued affordability. There is also a resale cap: sellers can make a maximum 2% appreciation on the original purchase price per year of owner occupancy. Projects $32.56 million the total construction cost was also financed by Webster Bank.

Managing Partner of Exact, Craig Livingstonesaid in a statement, “As Exact Capital develops affordable housing across the United States, as a Manhattan-based company, we are especially proud to create an opportunity for New Yorkers with qualifying incomes of realizing the American dream of home ownership with new affordable co-op apartments in Harlem.”


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