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Affordable co-living plans now on the table

The City has selected three developers to pilot a new affordable shared housing program.

Shared housing is considered housing units consisting of two or more independently occupied rooms that share a kitchen and/or bathroom.

The selected proposals were submitted by Ascendant Neighborhood Development and Ali Forney Center, L+M Development Partners and Common, and Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation and PadSplit.

 “New York is one of the most culturally-rich cities in the world, and our housing stock should reflect that diversity. As demonstrated by the selected proposals, with ShareNYC we’re blending affordability with flexibility for a wide range of New Yorkers as we explore this new model,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll.

“I congratulate the selected development teams for being the pilot class of the ShareNYC initiative and thank them for working with us to keep innovation at the forefront of affordable housing development.”

HPD selected a range of proposals to explore how the shared housing model can work across a variety of building types found across New York City, such as existing one-to-four family buildings and large or small-scale new construction projects.

The selected proposals will serve diverse populations across the city, including current shared housing residents, populations that may benefit from shared spaces that are coupled with supportive services, and small households earning a range of incomes.

The three proposals are:

Ascendant Neighborhood Development and Ali Forney Center

This proposal includes a plan for the construction of a new 10-story shared housing development that will create 36 housing opportunities in the East Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. The building will include a mix of four duplex shared units and one simplex shared unit. All housing will be affordable to low-income households and are anticipated to be filled with referrals from the shelter system. The building will be fully furnished, and rent will include all utilities. The units are designed to encourage a sense of community and create a home-like environment. Residents will also have access to onsite social services including the Ali Forney Center Life Skills Programming and Life Coaching Retreats. The project will include a variant refrigerant flow heating and cooling system, a green roof, and a rear yard with native plantings that will be open for resident use.

 L+M Development Partners and Common

This proposal includes a plan for the creation of 253 new housing opportunities within 56 shared housing units located in two eight-story buildings and 56 shared housing units. Each building wing features a different shared housing typology in order to provide options for tenants who may prefer different housing arrangements. The units in one building are designed around a large central community room with a large kitchen, living room, and recreation area. The units in the other building wing offer a more intimate shared housing scale with a mix of private and shared bathrooms. This development is expected to serve a wide variety of incomes from very low-income to moderate-income households. A third of the larger development will be market-rate. The project will have a resilient, back-up power system that consists of a cogeneration unit, solar panels, and energy storage, dependent upon available funding incentives and financial feasibility. L+M will lead the development of the project on behalf of a joint venture with LIHC Investment Group.

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation and PadSplit

This proposal details a plan to rehabilitate an existing legal single-room occupancy building in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. After rehabilitation, the project will include 11 housing opportunities in a two-story building. All units will be affordable to extremely low- to low-income households. Rents will include all utilities and furniture. The project seeks to retain all existing tenants. Improvements will redesign the building’s layout to include thoughtful space planning, spacious common areas, and rear yard enhancements to maximize resident recreational space. The exterior of the building will be preserved to maintain the character of the neighborhood. However, windows will be replaced to improve thermal performance. PadSplit will oversee property management and provide conflict resolution assistance.

“New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development is at the forefront of an increasing number of US cities embracing coliving as a part of their affordable housing strategy. Affordability is at the very heart of Common’s mission, and that’s why we immediately jumped at the opportunity to submit a proposal for the ShareNYC program,” said Brad Hargreaves, founder and CEO of Common. “Today, I am thrilled to have been chosen to move forward with this important project in partnership with L+M Development. For the first time, we will bring the benefits, ethos, and community of coliving to affordable city housing.”

“Through ShareNYC, HPD provided an opportunity to create a new housing typology that reflects the needs of the city’s changing population and provides affordability without the need for capital subsidy,” said David Dishy, President of L+M Development Partners. “We’re excited to offer a scalable model focused on better serving the needs of the city’s workforce population, many of whom lack affordable housing options — all while increasing the housing supply for single-member households and advancing the benefits of co-living.”

“The Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation is thrilled to have this chance to develop safe, livable, and deeply affordable shared housing in East New York. ShareNYC will enable us to fully renovate a two-story row house, adjusting the current layout to include a large communal kitchen and living room, 11 rooming units, and eight bathrooms. Shared housing is an exciting and much-needed approach to preventing displacement in our community and providing affordable housing for New Yorkers in small households that being priced out of the market for studios and one-bedroom apartments,” said Michelle Neugebauer, Executive Director of Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. “We are eager to pursue this innovative solution and help establish a model that can be replicated across the city.” 

“We are incredibly excited for the opportunity to continue our mission to solve the affordable housing crisis one room at time as a ShareNYC partner, and we know that shared housing paired with supportive services will play a vital role in providing high-quality housing for the people that fuel our cities,” said Atticus LeBlanc Founder and CEO of PadSplit.  “New York City is consistently on the forefront of innovation, and we are hopeful that ShareNYC signals to the rest of the country the importance of trying new and innovative solutions to solve very real problems.”

HPD selected a range of proposals to explore how the shared housing model can work across a variety of building types found across New York City, such as existing one-to-four family buildings and large or small-scale new construction projects. The selected proposals will serve diverse populations across the city, including current shared housing residents, populations that may benefit from shared spaces that are coupled with supportive services, and small households earning a range of incomes.

The city will now work with the three developers and their partners to secure construction or preservation financing to fund the developments.

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