Affordable Housing Development

AAFE preserves and builds equitable affordable housing across New York City

In the past three decades, Asian Americans for Equality has developed and preserved more than 1,200 affordable apartments in immigrant and low-income communities across New York City. The goal of our housing development work is to create safe and healthy homes for low- and middle-income individuals and families, providing the housing stability they need to thrive and preserving the essential character of our diverse neighborhoods.

In the late 1980s, AAFE became the first housing developer in New York to use low-income housing tax credits to create affordable housing. The result was Equality House, two gut-renovated buildings on Eldridge Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood. AAFE went on to develop almost 600 units in 37 buildings across Chinatown and the Lower East Side, including renovating century-old tenement buildings as well as new construction.

AAFE has earned a reputation for innovation in housing development, helping to pioneer new programs that became citywide and, in some cases, national models. In the aftermath of 9/11, AAFE utilized the federally-funded Chinatown/Lower East Side Acquisition Program to purchase and preserve as permanent affordable housing 152 at-risk rent stabilized apartments. In 2013, AAFE became the first nonprofit to successfully transform a building (244 Elizabeth St. in Manhattan) under New York City’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program (ANCP). In 2017, the City of New York announced that AAFE would be one of the first nonprofit developers to utilize its new Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP), which is designed to create new affordable housing projects on small vacant city-owned lots.

In 2018, AAFE and its development partners, Monadnock Development and HANAC, opened One Flushing, the organization’s largest project to date–a multigenerational community with 232 affordable apartments in the heart of Downtown Flushing, Queens. We recently opened our latest project, East Village Homes, adding 44 units of sorely needed affordable rental housing in Lower Manhattan. Today, we have hundreds of new affordable homes in our development pipeline, including middle income cooperatives in the East Village and Chelsea neighborhoods, an SRO conversion project in Manhattan’s Chinatown and transitional housing for unstably housed families with children in Flushing.

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