AAFE is working with residents in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, city housing officials, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Community Board 4 to bring new affordable housing to a dilapidated stretch of West 22nd St.

A new 9-story cooperative building will rise on the site, 201-207 7th Avenue. The project is being made possible through the Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program (ANCP), which is administered through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The city has owned the buildings since 1978. While redevelopment plans have been in-the-works for years, the project never got traction. Now it’s finally happening. All five longtime tenants will be able to return to brand new apartments once the project is completed. Through the program, we will help the renters form a co-op and purchase the units for $2,500 each. There will be a total of 26 apartments in the new building, plus 3,900 square feet of ground floor neighborhood retail.

Speaker Johnson, who represents Chelsea told Chelsea Now:

Since taking office, getting this project jumpstarted has been one of my top priorities. I’m extremely happy that HPD and AAFE are moving forward with the redevelopment of these properties, which have languished for far too long… Working with the current and former residents of the buildings and Community Board 4, I believe we’ve crafted an affordable housing project that we can all be proud of. This project will add over 20 new units of permanently affordable housing and will provide a healthy mix of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units to meet the needs of families who are in desperate need of affordable housing.

AAFE Co-Executive Director Thomas Yu said:

AAFE is looking forward to welcoming five families back to their homes at 201-207 7th Avenue, and creating a new affordable co-op in the Chelsea neighborhood. After many years of diligent advocacy efforts led by the community, this corner will finally come alive with new ground floor neighborhood retail, as well as new affordable housing. We are excited to be working with tenants, Community Board 4, and the Councilmember to bring this project to fruition. We were proud to have successfully completed the first project under the city’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program at 244 Elizabeth Street, and are anticipating another great partnership in Chelsea.

In 2017, AAFE successfully completed the first project under the Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program at 244 Elizabeth St. ANCP selects qualified developers to rehabilitate distressed city-owned properties, creating affordable cooperatives for low- and moderate-income households. The program provides low-interest loans, as well as construction and permanent financing.

Keyla Espinal, who grew up in the buildings, told Chelsea Now, “I can say that we as a family are excited about finally coming home to fully renovated apartments. These buildings are definitely in very bad shape, and have been getting worse as the years have gone by. So we are excited that the process is moving along. It has been a long time coming but we’re ready to take it to the next level and not be the eyesore in the community any longer.”