- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf City Officials Mark Affordable Housing 'Milestone' in the Bronx | Bronx News Networkbronx

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

City Officials Mark Affordable Housing 'Milestone' in the Bronx

This affordable housing development in West Farms Square is one
of thousands that was financed this year by the city. (Photo: Jeanmarie Evelly)
Bloomberg administration officials gathered in the courtyard of a West Farms apartment complex this morning to celebrate what they say has been a landmark year for the city's affordable housing stock.

Officials announced that the city is ahead of schedule in Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan, which aims to "create and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing by the end of 2014."

The number of units financed in the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, puts the city three-quarters of the way towards hitting that goal number, a fact hailed by officials as a major accomplishment in light of the recession and the budget restraints of the last few years.

"This is an amazing feat," HPD Commissioner Mathew Wambua said of the 15,827 affordable housing units the city funded last year.

Among those are a set of eight high-rise apartment buildings along E. 178th Street in West Farms--known as the West Farms Square Plaza Apartments--which received millions of dollars in refinancing funds, in a deal between the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, city's HDC and HPD as well as two local housing developers,  Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation and University Neighborhood Housing Program. The negotiations took over two years and were finalized in May.

The 526 apartments within the sprawling complex are now locked into "affordable" rents for the next 40 years, meaning rents that are no more than a third of a household's income. The buildings will also be completely rehabbed from the inside-out.

"These buildings that are 40 years old are finally being renovated, and the residents will essentially be getting brand new apartments," said Monsignor John Jenik, president of Fordham Bedford.

The buildings have gotten new elevators, and will get new boilers, hot water heaters and facades; four playgrounds will be built on the grounds. Individual apartments are getting renovated bathrooms, kitchens and windows. Construction is expected to finish in September of 2012.

Several speakers' at today's press conference alluded to how the area looked in the 1970s and 80s, when much of it was consumed by rubble and empty lots.

"The renovations are a debt being repaid to the families who have lived here," through the "bad old days" said  John Garcia, who sits on the buildings' board. "The tenants who always believed that West Farms was a great place to live."

"We've been long waiting for this," one long-term resident remarked.


  1. Sorry John Garcia but West Farms is worst than it ever was. Drug dens, prostitution houses,Bloods and Crips (gangs)now occupy the complex. Homeless / drug users sleep, shoot up and smoke crack in the urine laden stair cases. Random gunfire is heard overnight, vehicles are constantly being broken into. This is coming from someone that has lived at West Farms for over 40 years. So Mr John Garcia when you make a statement that people have lived through the "Bad Old Days" I think shows that you are only trying to justify your personal efforts and gain, typical smoke screen and mirror act. In closing one can only hope that Government Funds are not being used to renovate Heroin & crack dens and prostitution rings. You need to fix the source of the problem not the package in comes in. MN

  2. Uhh..."four playgrounds will be built"? Really? West Farms already has four playgrounds but the powers that be decided that they didn't want kids to have an outlet to have fun so they were permanently closed years ago. I grew up there with handball courts, basketball courts, and monkey bars but those have all been removed. Now there are padlocks, fences and barbwire everywhere. The only thing missing are the correction officers.
    Dave M

  3. I am excited and happy about the renovations that are currently taking place which are very much needed and look forward to the improvements promised to the residents. West Farms has great potential to be a beautiful community. I hope they do focus on security in making West Farms Square safer, instead of just a farm. We are fenced in like animals without also safety exists, one way in - one way out. Lastly, I hope it indeed stays affordable for the working individuals like myself and the non-working as well.


Bronx News Network reserves the right to remove comments that include personal attacks, name calling, foul language, commercial advertisements, spam, or any language that might be considered threatening, libelous or inciting hate.

User comments are reviewed by BxNN staff and may be included or excluded at our discretion.

If what you have to say is unrelated to this particular post, please visit our readers' forum.