Closing Bell: City to Build Affordable Housing on 122 Vacant Lots and Community Gardens

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    The city is looking to develop hundreds of vacant lots, including 15 community gardens, throughout the five boroughs into affordable housing. By our count, the list of properties includes 122 Brooklyn sites, at least seven of which are community gardens. Yesterday, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released the list of the publicly owned sites. Last month, it issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), inviting developers who would like to build small affordable housing projects on the sites.

    Developers can choose to build small affordable rental buildings, co-ops, condos or one- to four-family townhouses. The affordable condos or co-ops can’t be larger than 14 units, and may qualify for financing through the New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program (NIHOP). Co-ops and townhomes built through NIHOP are aimed at families making 80 to 130 percent of the Area Median Income ($83,900 to $109,070 for a family of four), with one-third set aside for those making 80 to 90 percent AMI.

    Through the Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP), developers can build rental buildings ranging from 15 to 30 units. Only renters making less than 165 percent AMI can qualify ($138,435 for a family of four).

    Here’s our possibly incomplete list of the gardens slated for redevelopment:

    451 Bedford Avenue — La Casita Verde
    615 Saratoga Avenue — Isabaliah Ladies of Elegance
    120 Jefferson Street — El Garden
    659 Willoughby Avenue/267 Throop Avenue — Tranquility Farm
    1680 Pacific Street — Green Phoenix
    462 Halsey Street — 462 Halsey Street Community Garden
    119 Vernon Avenue — New Harvest
    142 Patchen Avenue — Patchen Community Square
    774 Halsey Street — Halsey, Ralph and Howard Community Garden

    Photo via 462 Halsey Street Community Garden/Facebook

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