NYCHA and HPD Finalize Deal to Build $60M Bronx Affordable Housing Project

Real Estate In-Depth | September 29, 2021

A rendering of the 101-unit Betances Family Apartments in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.

NEW YORK—The New York City Housing Authority and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development reported on Sept. 28 they had finalized a $60-million deal that will bring 101 new affordable apartments to the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx.

Construction on the 101-unit Betances Family Apartments building at a site of a formerly vacant retail building at NYCHA’s Betances VI campus is expected to begin next month. The development will include 70 units for extremely low- and low-income households, 30 units for formerly homeless households, and one superintendent’s unit.

The 15-story building, known as Betances Family Apartments, will be located on the corner of East 146th Street and Willis Avenue on NYCHA’s Betances VI campus. The new building was designed by Think! Architecture and Design to create a modern, sustainable living environment for low-income families and individuals that also activates the community with ground floor retail.

The building is being developed by Lemle & Wolff Development Company, Alembic Community Development, and The Bridge. Lemle & Wolff will also serve as the project’s general contractor and property manager. The Bridge, a local non-profit, will provide on-site supportive services to residents.

“Betances Family Apartments continues the successful partnership between NYCHA and HPD’s 100% Affordable program and is another example of what is possible when the city and its partners work together to support the vitality of neighborhoods like Mott Haven,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “I am grateful to all those involved in making this important project happen.”

“NYCHA is continually focused on leveraging all ways we can support the Authority’s mission of increasing opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers to gain access to safe and accessible housing,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Greg Russ. “We are excited to continue the legacy of fostering affordable housing options in the South Bronx, and look forward to engaging with our partners and stakeholders on this dynamic project.”

“Since the start of the Administration, HPD has partnered with NYCHA to use our scarce City land to advance our shared goals of providing affordable housing and economic opportunity to all New Yorkers,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “Betances VI will provide 101 deeply affordable homes and on-site supportive services for low-income New Yorkers, including those who have experienced homelessness. I want to thank NYCHA, Lemle & Wolff Development Company, Alembic Community Development, and The Bridge for their partnership on this dynamic project.”

The project will bring much-needed affordable housing to the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx and was developed in response to an extensive planning process for the site including a rezoning that was finalized in 2019. Building amenities at Betances Family Apartments will include a children’s playroom, bike storage, an outdoor green roof terrace, and 24/7 building security. The ground floor at Betances Family Apartments will feature approximately 10,000 gross square foot of commercial space designed to enhance the availability of quality retail spaces in The Hub, the busiest commercial district in the Bronx.

The Bridge will provide a range of on-site supportive services, including case management, benefits counseling, and linkages to community mental health, dental, and substance abuse services. These services will be available to all households residing at the Betances Family Apartments. Betances Family Apartments will feature 19 studio apartments, 44 one-bedroom apartments, 24 two-bedroom apartments, 13 three-bedroom apartments, as well as one three-bedroom superintendent apartment. Thirty apartments will be set aside for formerly homeless individuals in need of supportive services, and the remaining 70 apartments will be available to households earning at or below 80 percent of Area Median Income. Current NYCHA residents will be given preference for 18 of the apartments and will have the opportunity to apply for the apartments through HPD’s Housing Connect lottery system.

Permanent financing for the $60 million project includes a $9.2-million mortgage from Sterling National Bank, $14.7 million in HPD ELLA financing, $1 million in Reso A funds from Councilmember Diana Ayala, $500,000 in Reso A funds from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a $2.5-million award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, $5.7 million in Brownfields Tax Credit Equity, $24 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and $2.8 million in other sources.