Multi-Housing News: Affordable Project for LGBTQ Seniors to Rise in NYC

Haven Green, a 123-unit community in Little Italy, was approved by the city council after a battle over the fate of the development site, which is currently a one-acre park.

An affordable, LGBTQ-friendly senior housing community will be built in New York City, after gaining approval from the City Council. The 123-unit, ground-up development will rise in the Little Italy neighborhood and will be dubbed Haven Green.

The go-ahead from the city followed a lengthy battle between affordable housing advocates and supporters of the Elizabeth Street Garden, which will be replaced by the new community. Supporters of the one-acre park opposed the redevelopment of the community garden, filing two lawsuits in opposition to the development.

Haven Green is being developed by Pennrose LLC, RiseBoro Community Partnership and Habitat for Humanity New York City, with support from New York City’s Housing Development Corporation and New York City Housing Preservation and Development. Construction and permanent financing for Haven Green will be provided by HDC, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Affordable Housing Program funds, 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity and Renewable Energy Tax Credits and private equity.

The apartment homes will be affordable to seniors who earn up to $42,579, while 37 units will be set aside for formerly homeless seniors. An additional unit will be provided for a live-in superintendent. The units will remain affordable for the next 60 years. The project will also be designed to meet Passive House standards, reducing the building’s energy consumption to 60 to 70 percent less than a standard building of its kind.

Meeting affordability needs

Though the community will be replacing a park, Haven Green will include 8,400 square feet of public space, including a covered breezeway, open green space, seating areas and other elements to be programmed through a community engagement process. Also included at the development will be ground-floor retail, a flexible community meeting space and services provided by RiseBoro Community Partnership, Habitat NYC and SAGE, an organization dedicated to LGBTQ seniors.

The announcement comes on the heels of a report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on the state of affordable housing, which found that nearly 2.8 million New York households faced housing costs that were 30 percent or more of their income, equating to almost half of all renters and more than one in four homeowners.

“As a senior, aging in a city where rents have skyrocketed or where you can only afford a walk-up apartment is incredibly difficult,” said Dylan Salmons, senior developer at Pennrose, in a statement to Multi-Housing News. “Haven Green will provide much needed, affordable housing for New York City’s most vulnerable residents.”