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Groundbreaking for 49 affordable units

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With 150,000 people on a waiting list for public housing in New York City, you have to start somewhere.

That includes new affordable housing to rise in Morrisania that promises hope for 49 families.

Officials broke ground at 1070 Washington Avenue on Friday, May 4 for a new 7-story, $21.7 million building holding a mix of 21 public housing and 28 affordable housing units.

Ten of the affordable units will be for veterans and formerly homeless individuals and families, who will receive supportive services on site. It will include 16 studios, 11 one-bedroom units, 20 two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom apartment.

The building’s affordable housing units will be set aside for individuals or families making below 60% of the Area Median Income, which is $49,080 for a family of four.

Tenants for the affordable housing units will be chosen by lottery, and those interested in these and other affordable housing units should visit the ‘apartment seekers’ section of the HPD website, www.nyc.gov/hpd.

The building will rise on a stretch of Washington Avenue rezoned in 2003 from light industrial and manufacturing to mixed-use, allowing for the residential boom in the area, said Community Board 3 district manager John Dudley.

The site’s was previously a parking lot for commercial vehicles, and there are still several commercial establishments along the street there.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s office will provide $575,000 for green features for the building, said Samantha Magistro of builder Bronx Pro Group.

The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, CB 3 and the borough president’s office pushed for the rezoning which allowed for residential development that has “brought life back to Washington Avenue,” Dudley said.

“This serves as a catalyst to promote mixed uses along Washington Avenue,” Dudley said.

The project marks the first time NYCHA has used “replacement housing factor,” said NYCHA chairman John Rhea. Construction of the 21 NYCHA units will use federal funding to finance the replacement of units being retired elsewhere, Rhea said.

Leasing is scheduled to begin in March 2013, with construction scheduled for completion in late 2013.

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