Feb 19, 2019
Haven Green: Myths vs. Facts
There has been substantial misinformation and confusion surrounding Haven Green and its place in the community. In an effort to be accurate and transparent with the community members we serve, we have addressed four of the most common myths about the affordable housing project.
Myth: There is an alternative site that could accommodate more affordable housing.
There is no alternative to Haven Green. The premise that the development team could simply and sufficiently build elsewhere undermines the breadth of the city’s affordable housing crisis.
The referenced location on Hudson Street, which is one mile away from the designated site, is controlled by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), contains critical water infrastructure and the City does not consider this site able for development.
Fair housing policy requires all neighborhoods, not just all Community Boards, to participate in alleviating the housing crisis, creating equitable, affordable housing in high opportunity neighborhoods and combating gentrification.
Haven Green will more than double the number of affordable units built in CB2 during the current Housing Plan.
Myth: Little Italy is critically underserved by open space, and only the current garden can serve the community by remaining completely whole.
According to NYC data, 100% of residents in Manhattan’s Community Board 2 are within walking distance of a park or open space. Meanwhile, more than 4,600 seniors within Community Board 2 are currently on the waiting list for affordable housing.
Haven Green will serve even more members of the community in even more ways, maximizing the public benefit of scarce public resources by addressing multiple community needs: affordable senior housing, community facility space, and publicly accessible open space that still serves the neighborhood.
Haven Green’s design dedicates more publicly accessible and open space than the City’s RFP required, with over 8,000 square feet designed in collaboration with community members through a participatory design process.
Myth: Habitat for Humanity New York City offices will take up space that could be for more garden or more affordable housing.
No more affordable housing or garden space would be created if the community facility space were not integrated into the design. Were Habitat NYC not to be the tenant, the development team would search for a new community facility tenant for the same space.
The Community facility space will exist on the ground and cellar floor, with affordable housing directly above it and flexible conference space for neighborhood organizations to utilize. Eliminating the Habitat space would also significantly reduce the number of affordable homes directly above it.
Habitat NYC got its start nearby on East 6th Street, and continues to have a major presence throughout the neighborhood by providing preservation and technical assistance to affordable buildings. Habitat NYC is returning home and adds additional community benefit to this project as a true asset to the neighborhood.
Myth: Development will have a major negative environmental impact on the neighborhood.
The City’s Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) resulted in a negative declaration, meaning the project would not have adverse effects on the environment significant enough to warrant further analysis.
Haven Green will keep our city greener and healthier. The development will be built to Passive House standards, which reduces the building’s utility expense and carbon emissions, making an enormous difference for the extremely low-income residents. The building and the public open space will be designed to manage and reuse storm water through the use of permeable surfaces covering the majority of the open space and a rooftop rainwater harvesting system.
Learn more about Haven Green at the About page.