Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) joined City Council Member Carlina Rivera, City Council Member Margaret Chin, officials with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Enterprise Community Partners and the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) to celebrate the groundbreaking of “East Village Homes,” a 100% affordable development. The project, under HPD’s Neighborhood Construction Program, will bring 45 affordable apartments to 302 East 2nd St. in a community where housing costs have risen dramatically in recent years.
The Neighborhood Construction Program creates new affordable housing by providing funding for city-owned infill parcels throughout New York City. AAFE, a nonprofit organization with deep roots in Chinatown and the Lower East Side, was selected by HPD in 2017 to develop 302 East 2nd St. When completed, the 14-story project near Avenue D will include 45 rental units affordable to very low, low, and moderate-income households, as well as ground-floor community facility space.
“Today we celebrate the kickoff of a project that will bring desperately needed affordable housing to the East Village and Lower East Side, where longtime residents are increasingly at risk of displacement from a community they have helped build,” said Thomas Yu and Jennifer Sun, AAFE co-executive directors. “We thank HPD and HDC for their faith in AAFE to complete this exciting project, to our elected officials for their strong support and to our funding partners for helping to make East Village Homes a reality.”
East Village Homes is being financed under HPD’s Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP) and will have eight Section 8 Project-Based Voucher units. Enterprise Housing Credit Investments provided $10.2 million in LIHTC equity, while LIIF provided $15.246 million in construction financing via a participation interest in the senior construction loan. HDC provided approximately $7.58 million of taxable bonds. HPD provided $6.75 million in NCP funds. The New York City Council provided $1.22 million in Reso A funds, and the Manhattan Borough President contributed $400,000. Pre-development financing was provided by Enterprise Community Loan Fund and Seachange Capital Partners. Additional funding for the project came from TD Bank Charitable Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Wells Fargo, Valley Bank and M&T Bank.
“There is a clear need for affordable housing across every neighborhood in New York City. It is always fulfilling when we can break ground for a new project in an area where land is not often readily available,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I would like to thank AAFE and our development partners for their collaboration, and Council Members Rivera and Chin for their support and unwavering commitment to the residents of our city. Thanks to your cooperation, we celebrate the coming of 45 new homes for low-income families in the heart of the East Village.”
“East Village Homes will provide 45 households from a wide range of incomes with a stable and secure place to live,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to our elected officials and partners for helping us to secure lasting affordability for New Yorkers in this increasingly high-cost neighborhood of Manhattan.”
“The Lower East Side is known for its decades of activism demanding tenants’ rights and programmatic and financial support from government. Therefore, it is fitting that today, in this neighborhood, we celebrate an amazing partnership between New York City and local non-profit partners that will result in the development of 45 affordable apartments for individuals and families – many of these reserved for AMIs as low as 20%. As I continue to work to bring more housing to working people in District 2, I thank partners like my colleague Margaret Chin, AAFE, and HPD that help us make developments like this a reality,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera.
“In the face of a rising citywide affordability crisis, today we’re taking a bold step in creating truly affordable housing in our East Village and Lower East Side neighborhoods. I am proud to have secured $800,000 in Council funding to support this project and provide more housing stability for our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin.
“As the price of housing continues to rise and residents across New York City face the threat of displacement, it is critical to develop projects that provide affordable housing and community stability,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise. “We are proud to work alongside committed nonprofit and government partners including AAFE, LIIF, HPD, and HDC to make this fully affordable building a reality.”
“The Low Income Investment Fund is pleased to have led a public-private financing effort to provide AAFE with $23 million in construction financing for East Village Homes,” said Ivan Levi, Senior Loan Officer at the Low Income Investment Fund. “This project will transform a vacant city-owned lot, in a neighborhood where rents have risen tremendously, into quality housing affordable to a variety of households. We are excited to support AAFE in providing stable housing and maintaining neighborhood income diversity. We congratulate HPD on sponsoring this investment in City-owned land, and we look forward to seeing families move into their new homes.”
“Community Board 3 is grateful for the opportunity to support this much needed affordable housing on East 2nd Street,” said CB3 Chair Alysha Lewis-Coleman. “We are seeing many new luxury developments with few or no affordable housing components — and rarely with desperately needed very affordable units. Community Board 3 has the fourth highest gap in the city between our lower income residents and those with higher incomes, making the community especially vulnerable to losing affordable housing. We are thankful to AAFE and their partners for recognizing and acting on the priority need for this community — affordable housing. “
“TD Bank is dedicated to our communities and we feel strongly about helping Manhattan residents achieve their financial goals and a better life, including having a nice, safe place to call home,” said Ralph Bumbaca, New York City Market President of Commercial Banking for TD Bank. “TD is proud to work with Asian Americans for Equality to ensure that many more people in our vibrant and diverse neighborhood are able to accomplish that and make New York City an even better place to live and work.”
Leroy Street Studio designed the building, which includes sustainable elements and meets Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. The project includes 13 studios, 19 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and one apartment for an on-site super.
The building’s facade features a layered system of stucco panels that play off of an array of metal panels with custom-perforated designs. Integrated active design principles include bike storage, easily-accessible outdoor green space and visible stairs and circulation pathways. Building amenities include a shared roof terrace, a meeting space off of the main lobby and a laundry facility. The project features resilient design with no basement, water-conserving plumbing fixtures and high-efficiency lighting fixtures.
A second phase of the East Village Homes project is expected to create 10 additional affordable rental apartments on a separate site at 276 East 3rd St.