Habitat for Humanity starts 56-unit building in N. Bx.

Habitat for Humanity starts 56-unit building in N. Bx.|Habitat for Humanity starts 56-unit building in N. Bx.
Photo by Aracelis Batista|Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity New York City

An affordable cooperative housing development is slated to bring home ownership to dozens of families in the north Bronx.

In Williamsbridge, Habitat for Humanity New York City broke ground on Friday, March 16 on the largest multi-family development under one roof that any Habitat affiliate has every attempted.

Development partners are Almat Group, with city and state agencies. The new development is called Sydney House.

The building will include 56 co-ops available for purchase when 839 to 843 Tilden Street opens in around 22 months, said Karen Haycox, Habitat for Humanity NYC CEO.

Marketing of and applications for the units should start six to nine months prior to first occupancy, and with applications administered through New York City’s affordable housing lottery and preference given to people already living in the community, said Haycox.

“It will be a tremendous asset and a springboard for success for 56 families in the Bronx,” said Haycox, adding that the financial benefits and overall stability of homeownership are transformative for families.

Another partner is the Department of Housing and Preservation and Development through its Open Door program, which funds the construction of new affordable condominiums and co-ops.

Funding came from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. who provided $1.2 million and Councilman Andy King, who allocated $2.8 million, as well as from the NYS Home and Community Renewal Department, the State of New York Mortgage Agency and Chase.

King said he is eager to retain young professionals already living in the district at the new development.

“This is going to have a real positive impact for residents in the north Bronx and put our young people on the path to home ownership,” said King.

Developments like Sydney House allow for young adults to have an investment in housing and the community, said King.

The councilman said that he believes that while the focus of affordable housing in the city tends to focus on rental housing, owner-occupied homes are equally important.

He added he was pleased that the community room in the new building would be named after his parents.

Haycox said that Almat Group alerted Habitat for Humanity’s NYC to the site.

“This is Almat’s first step into the affordable housing arena, and we hope to bring more positive economic and social impact projects to the forefront in the future,” said Uche Alozie, Almat principal.

Senator Jamaal Bailey, who attended the groundbreaking, said he was supportive of developments like Sydney House.

“It is so important for families to be able to own a home and to have easy access to transportation,” said Bailey, with Haycox adding that that it is a 40-minute commute to midtown Manhattan from the site.

The typical family who purchases a Habitat apartment makes between 60 percent to 80 percent of the Area Median Income, said Haycox, and is expected to contribute ‘sweat equity’ to the projects.

People interested in these and other Habitat NYC developments should visit habitatnyc.org.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
This is a rendering of what the new building should look like when it is ready to be occupied in about two years.
Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity New York City