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City issues RFP for affordable Bed-Stuy development

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has issued an RFP for 280 affordable housing units in Bed-Stuy.

The development will part of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Housing Plan that aims to advance a health-centered vision for new affordable housing and protect local homeowners and tenants against displacement.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Wealth and Wellness Request for Proposals (RFPs)​ is for two local projects with 280 affordable homes and community health and wellness facilities. 

It will be the first project to employ the City’s new equitable ownership requirement to strengthen the role of Minority-and-Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) and non-profits on affordable housing projects developed on City-owned sites.

Under this new requirement, at least 25 percent of the project’s managing ownership interests must be held by a M/WBE or non-profit development partner, entitling it to at least 25 percent of the total economic benefits of the project, net of any tax credit limited partner interests. 

“This housing plan builds on Bed-Stuy’s rich history at the forefront of the community development movement with local leaders and residents working together to protect their neighborhood from the forces of racism and economic instability,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll.

LOUISE CAROLL

“Developed through an inclusive, community-driven process, the plan reflects priorities of the Bed-Stuy community, including creating affordable housing, protecting residents from displacement, and promoting equitable ownership among M/WBE and nonprofit developers.”

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Housing Plan aims to support tenants and owners struggling with rising housing costs and financial hardship and reduce housing speculation and illegal housing-related activities in a neighborhood considered a hotspot for illegal Airbnb activity and deed theft that targets seniors.

Local homeowners also report repeat harassment and solicitation to sell properties below market value.

Under the plan, the City will try to connect more homeowners to resources and counseling around estate planning, educating the community about illegal short-term rentals, and supporting community efforts to implement a neighborhood “cease-and-desist zone.”

Nearly two-thirds of all homes in Bed-Stuy are more than 70 years old. Under the new housing plan, both HPD and NYCHA will implement service improvements for hundreds of public housing residents and provide new financing resources, technical assistance, and enforcement tools to improve housing management and housing quality for both homeowners and tenants. 

Through the PACT program, NYCHA has been making comprehensive repairs and upgrades, including new windows, heating systems, kitchens, and bathrooms, to approximately 700 apartments across 10 developments. 

The first two projects developed through the Community Wealth and Wellness Request for Proposals (RFPs) will reflect the community’s desire for housing investments to enhance affordability, promote community wealth and financial well-being, foster opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBEs) and other emerging developers while uplifting the neighborhood’s cultural history. 

The city owned sites in BedStuy

In addition to featuring the new equitable ownership requirement, the Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Wealth and Wellness RFP will propel the creation of 280 new affordable apartments on two neighborhood sites on Fulton Street and include homeownership opportunities and homes for seniors.

The first two sites’ development plans must encourage a hub of uses, programming, and building design that promote community wellness through healthy eating, living, physical exercise, and holistic healing. Sites may incorporate but are not limited to multi-purpose community centers. 

The Bed-Stuy plan also prioritizes the creation of 825 new affordable homes in the next few years. Of which, 400 apartments are currently being constructed on projects at 1618 Fulton Street, 645 Gates Avenue, and 1921 Atlantic Avenue, bringing a new grocery store, medical services and other neighborhood amenities.

In addition to serving low-income and formerly homeless households, 1921 Atlantic Avenue is the first City-owned site to be developed through an exclusive M/WBE RFP. The two M/WBE firms, Dabar Development Partners and Thorobird Companies, were brought together through HPD’s M/WBE Building Opportunity Initiative.

The plan also reflects the vision to build more integrated, equitable, and inclusive neighborhoods.

Bed-Stuy has a widening racial wealth gap driven by rising housing costs, rapid demographic changes, real estate speculation and fraud. Black homebuyers in Bed-Stuy continue to be targeted disproportionately by illegal and predatory housing activities.

Bed-Stuy is home to one of the largest historically Black communities in the U.S and is a beacon of African American history and culture.

As the birthplace of the first Community Development Corporation, Bed-Stuy led a national movement for housing justice, social welfare and urban revitalization. For generations, neighborhood stability has been challenged by harmful real estate practices, capital flight, disinvestment and discrimination that have driven economic and social disparities.

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